Infostani International: A tragic bomb blast at a PTI rally in Balochistan’s Sibi, nine days before the February 8 general elections, has claimed four lives and injured six. The incident highlights growing concerns about election security amid a surge in terror activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. This event underscores the urgency of investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack on political figures, emphasizing the need for heightened security measures.
Deadly Bomb Blast at PTI Rally Raises Concerns Ahead of General Elections in Balochistan
A bomb blast occurred at a PTI rally in Balochistan’s Sibi on Tuesday, resulting in four fatalities and six injuries, according to police and health officials. Dr. Babar, the medical superintendent of the District Headquarters Hospital in Sibi, confirmed the casualties. The incident, which occurred just nine days before the February 8 general elections, raised concerns about the upcoming polls.
Sibi Station House Officer (SHO) Zakaullah Gujjar reported that injured individuals were being transferred to the Civil Hospital, with most in critical condition, and fears were expressed about a potential rise in the death toll. Security forces promptly reached the blast site and cordoned off the area, while a bomb disposal squad collected evidence.
The PTI stated that the blast took place at an election rally organized by party-backed candidate Saddam Tareen, who is contesting from the NA-253 (Ziarat) constituency. Three PTI workers were killed, and seven were injured, and Tareen remained unharmed. The party strongly condemned the incident, demanding a focus on suppressing terrorists rather than PTI workers.
PTI Condemns Blast as ‘Criminal Failure’ of Governments, Demands Investigation; Emergency Measures and ECP Action Follow
The PTI labeled the incident a “criminal failure” of the provincial and federal governments, urging a thorough investigation and accountability for those responsible. Questions were raised about the lack of security for the rally despite a high alert.
Balochistan Health Secretary Abdullah Khan Noorzai imposed an emergency at hospitals in Quetta and Sibi, instructing enhanced security and healthcare facilities. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) took notice of the incident, summoning a report from Balochistan’s chief secretary and police chief.
Interim Balochistan Information Minister Jan Achakzai affirmed that regardless of terrorist actions, elections would proceed as planned. He acknowledged the attempt to disrupt the election process but expressed confidence in the resilience of Balochistan’s people.
Rising Terrorism Threats and Election Security Concerns in Pakistan: Recent Incidents and Government Response
The incident adds to a recent uptick in terror activities across Pakistan, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Seven militants were killed in Mach a day earlier, and security forces thwarted three terror attacks. The country witnessed numerous attacks on political figures, contributing to concerns about election security.
Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar established a high-level committee to oversee security for the upcoming general elections, given the surge in violence. A security report highlighted 1,524 fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023, with KP and Balochistan being primary centers of violence.