- JUI-F leader Durrani remains unhurt in the attack; 32 people are reportedly injured
BANNU: At least four people were killed and 32 others were injured in a bomb blast near the convoy of former Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Akram Khan Durrani in Bannu on Friday.
The former minister, whose name in the list forwarded to the interior ministry by NACTA, was leaving a corner meeting when an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a motorcycle some 50 metres away from the venue went off.
The JUI-F central general secretary, who is contesting for the upcoming polls under Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, remained unhurt in the attack. The injured were rushed to Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital and a large contingent of law-enforcers reached the site of the incident.
In a video message released hours after the attack, Durrani reminisced that this was second incident targeting him. “We are intimated that there are threats but we remain unaware about the forces that have threatened us. There were media reports that I am unsafe, I would like to ask media if they know about the threats then please reveal identity of those behind the threats,” he said.
KP Inspector General (IG) Mohammad Tahir said that three police personnel were also among those injured in the attack which occurred within the limits of PS Havaid.
The attack comes days after Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour was assassinated in a suicide attack at a corner meeting that killed 19 others and injured over 60 people on June 10.
In 2015, at least two people were killed and three others injured in a remote-controlled bomb attack on Durrani’s convoy in the Narmikhel area of Bannu. He was returning from Bakka Khel, Frontier Region Bannu, where he had attended a JUI-F congregation, when his convoy came under attack.
Caretaker Chief Minister Dost Mohammad Khan condemned the incident and summoned an emergency meeting to discuss the security situation in the aftermath of the attack.
Strongly condemning the terrorist attack on Durrani, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanded that the security of contesting candidates be ensured.
“The entire nation and institutions must unite to counter terrorism,” Bilawal said in a statement.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives.
Condemning the attack on Durrani, Imran expressed satisfaction on the safety of the MMA leader.
The PTI chief stressed that lapses in the security of election candidates should not occur.
He demanded that those injured in the attack should get state-of-the-art medical facilities.
“The enemy wants instability during the extremely important electoral process,” Imran said. “Interim [provincial] governments should make it a priority to protect the contesting candidates.”
Imran demanded that the opportunity to wreak havoc in the country not be given to anyone. “Impartial polls in a peaceful environment are extremely necessary for Pakistan’s future,” he said.
Condemning the attack, Punjab interim Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari said that those targetting innocent citizens were enemies of humanity.
He expressed sympathy with the families of the deceased and offered prayers for the recovery of the injured persons.
“None of the religions in this world allow the targetting of innocent people,” Askari said in a statement.
Paying homage to the martyrs in the war against terrorism, he said that the entire nation stood united against terrorists.