Pak polls: Leaders of major political parties under threat

Islamabad: National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) chief Dr Suleman Ahmad on Saturday informed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that political leaders and electoral candidates of all major political parties are facing serious threats, the DAWN reported.

Ahmad further said suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) could be used by terrorists to attack the leaders and candidates.

This warning comes after a senior official revealed the names of six politicians with threat perception, followed by three back-to-back terrorist attacks in four days – two in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Balochistan,” Iftikhar A. Khan of the Dawn reported.

The leaders under threat are Former KP chief minister Akram Durrani’s (of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl), Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Awami National Party leaders Asfandyar Wali Khan and Ameer Haider Hoti, Qaumi Watan Party head Aftab Sherpao and banned outfit Jamaatud Dawa (Jud) chief Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha Saeed.

Also, the Senate’s standing committee on interior affairs had also been told that the senior leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was also under threat.

The briefing session was held in the chambers of Chief Election Commissioner Justice retired Sardar Muhammad Raza and was attended by other members and senior officials of the commission.

The ECP , however, said that elections will be held on time and declared that the electoral process will continue despite terror threats.

The ECP underlined the need to tighten security across the country and create a peaceful environment for the elections.

Political parties and candidates were advised to cooperate with the administration and timely share information about their activities in the interest of their own security.

The ECP has also directed the Ministry of Energy to ensure uninterrupted supply of power on election day (July 25) till completion of the vote count process.