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Peshawar

April 24, 2016
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ANP, PTI lose highest number of MPs to terrorism

Peshawar

April 24, 2016

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Seven MPAs killed during last decade; several top leaders survive attacks

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtun khwa has not only lost the highest number of policemen and civilians during the last decade of violence but it also sacrificed several lawmakers and politicians.

Those slain mostly belong to the Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Many senior political leaders of the province survived several attacks on their lives, including suicide bombings and ambushes. Their relatives, friends, guards and others, however, were killed in the attacks.

The ANP and PTI, being the major partners in their respective coalition governments, have suffered the most. The number of attacks on ANP leaders and the killing of its workers are unprecedented.

Sardar Soran Singh, special assistant to the KP chief minister on minorities’ affairs and a member of the provincial assembly, was the latest victim of the violence. He was shot dead by unknown attackers near the Pir Baba shrine in his native Buner district on April 22.

His death has been widely condemned by the political leaders and people from all walks for life. His picture in which he is seen riding a horse while holding a flag of Pakistan was seen and shared by many on the social media and it moved hundreds of people.

Before Soran Singh, KP lost three of lawmakers in the first year since the PTI came into power following the May 2013 general election. Farid Khan, who was elected MPA as an independent from Hangu but later joined the PTI, was gunned down in June 2013 hardly a month after his election. The same month, another independently elected MPA, Imran Mohmand, along with 29 others was killed in a suicide attack in Takht Bhai tehsil in Mardan.

In December 2013, KP lost one of its most revered law ministers, Sardar Israrullah Gandapur, in a suicide attack at his hujra in Kulachi in Dera Ismail Khan district on Eid day. His family has been complaining that they have not been provided justice by the KP government.

“We have approached everyone but the KP government authorities are not providing us justice. We and the entire Gandapur tribe are highly dissatisfied and demand justice,” Inamullah Khan Gandapur, brother of the late minister, told The News.

Before the PTI, the main target of the militants was ANP. “Two years ago, the number of our workers and leaders killed in attacks was over 800. Several more of our activists have been murdered by terrorists in Karachi and the final tally can be higher,” a senior ANP leader, Afrasiab Khattak, told The News.

Among those killed in these attacks was Bashir Bilour, the then senior minister in the KP government. He survived a number of attacks but fell victim to a suicide attack in December 2012 near the Qissa Khwani bazaar. Several others, including the station house officer of the
area, were also killed in that attack.

The first ANP MPA killed in an attack was Alamzeb Khan from Peshawar. He was targetted in a roadside bomb attack in Momin Town in February 2009. In December the same year, an ANP MPA from Swat, Dr Shamsher, was killed in a suicide attack.

“Some of our members were killed in Fata too. In Pashtun belt of Balochistan, our prominent leader Ghulam Jeelani Khan Achakzai was killed by terrorists. Our party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, myself, Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour have survived suicide attacks,” said Afrasiab Khattak.

The late ANP leader Afzal Khan Lala was the only high-profile individual who had refused to leave Swat during the most troubled times despite innumerable attacks on his family and house. He died a natural death and was awarded a high gallantry award by the government.

Chief of Qaumi Watan Party and former interior minister Aftab Sherpao and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Amir Muqam, have proved to be the luckiest of all politicians as they survived the most number of suicide blasts and other attacks.

Other political leaders who survived suicide attacks and blasts include Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, former chief of Jamaat-i-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmad, and former chief ministers Akram Khan Durrani and Ameer Haider Hoti.

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