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Friday April 12, 2024

NA 248 Karachi: Candidate among 10 injured in attack on 'PTI election office' in Karachi

PTI urges ECP and caretakers to take notice of the incident

By Zeeshan Shah
January 21, 2024
(Left to right) Bikes thrown on the ground, a poster showing PTI-backed candidate Arsalan Khalid along with a picture of Imran Khan, and post-attack situation of the party’s event, in these stills taken from a video, on January 21, 2024, in Karachi. — X/@PTIOfficial
(Left to right) Bikes thrown on the ground, a poster showing PTI-backed candidate Arsalan Khalid along with a picture of Imran Khan, and post-attack situation of the party’s event, in these stills taken from a video, on January 21, 2024, in Karachi. — X/@PTIOfficial

KARACHI: Just days before the general elections, PTI-backed independent candidate from NA-248 Arslan Khalid and 9 others were injured when unidentified masked men attacked the party's election office in Karachi’s Azizabad.

In the first information report (FIR) lodged at Azizabad Police Station, Khalid stated that he organised a “Mehfil-e-Milad” on behalf of the former ruling party in Federal B Area's Azizabad.

“At 12:30[am], around 100 to 200 unidentified masked men entered the plot and attacked me and my companions with punches, kicks and batons.”

NA 248 Karachi: Candidate among 10 injured in attack on PTI election office in Karachi

Khalid said he suffered injuries to his head and was rushed to Abbassi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.

However, a spokesperson of the PTI blamed Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) for the attack. The spokesperson demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the caretaker Sindh government take strict notice of the incident.

Stern action should be taken against the suspects involved in the attack, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) candidate from NA-250 Khawaja Sohail Mansoor also accused MQM-P of attacking his party election offices set up in areas falling under NA-250 and PS-129.

Political parties' election campaigns have, in the past and the ongoing as well, witnessed spasms of violence, with scores of candidates and voters targeted — and either rivals or militants are blamed.

Earlier this month, a local leader of PTI, Shah Khalid, was shot dead by unidentified armed men in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Swabi district.

Another independent election candidate was killed in North Waziristan in the same month. The independent candidate, identified as Kaleemullah Khan, was eyeing to contest polls for the KP assembly's PK-104.

In a separate incident on the same day, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) candidate for NA-258 Aslam Buledi sustained injuries during a firing incident in Turbat City.

The deadly attacks on candidates come as the country gears up for the February 8 general elections, with much hope of ridding the nation of problems — such as political turmoil, terrorism, and economic ills.

Former member of the National Assembly and National Democratic Movement (NDM) leader Mohsin Dawar's convoy had also come under a gun attack by terrorists in the Tappi village this month.