ANI Photo | US “strongly condemns” attack on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf rally in Sibi

The United States has condemned the explosion held at a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally, which claimed four lives and injured at least poeple in Balochistan’s Sibi.
The devastating incident came just nine days before the February 8 general elections in Pakistan.
“The US strongly condemns the attack on PTI party rally in Sibi killing 10 people, which undermines the electoral process. Pakistani people have the right to choose their leader without fear for the country’s stability and prosperity. Our deepest sympathies to those affected,” stated the US State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in a post on X.
According to a Dawn report, the medical superintendent of the District Headquarters Hospital in Sibi, Dr Babar, confirmed the casualties, expressing concerns about the critical condition of the injured and the potential rise in the death toll. Sibi Station House Officer Zakaullah Gujjar reported that security forces swiftly responded to the blast, cordoning off the area, while a bomb disposal squad collected evidence.
The blast occurred at an election rally organised by PTI-backed candidate Saddam Tareen, contesting from the NA-253 (Ziarat) constituency. PTI stated that three party workers lost their lives, and seven were injured, while Tareen remained unharmed. The party vehemently condemned the incident, urging a focus on suppressing terrorists rather than targeting PTI workers, as reported by Dawn.
PTI characterised the incident as a “criminal failure” of the provincial and federal governments. The party demanded a thorough investigation into the incident and accountability for the alleged criminal negligence of supervising authorities.
Questioning the lack of security despite a high alert, PTI raised concerns about the safety of their rally attendees. Balochistan Health Secretary Abdullah Khan Noorzai declared an emergency at hospitals in Quetta and Sibi, instructing the medical superintendent in Sibi to provide the best healthcare facilities. Hospitals were directed to increase security measures, gather necessary medical resources, and ensure ample blood supply to handle any potential escalation.
The tragic incident unfolds against a backdrop of increased terrorist activities in Pakistan, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Just a day earlier, security forces thwarted three terror attacks in Mach, resulting in the death of seven militants. Clearance operations are underway in the region, according to Achakzai.
In a separate incident on Sunday, an explosion occurred outside the residence of a PTI-backed candidate, injuring two people. Former MNA Mohsin Dawar survived an armed attack on his convoy earlier this month during an election rally in KP’s North Waziristan. The same day, JUI-F’s Qari Khairullah narrowly escaped a roadside bomb in Bajaur.
Reacting to the escalating security challenges, caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar established a high-level committee to oversee security for the upcoming general elections. The committee’s mandate includes overseeing security arrangements, reviewing administrative matters, and ensuring coordination for the smooth conduct of the elections.
A recent annual security report by the Centre for Research and Security Studies highlighted a record six-year high in violence-related fatalities and injuries in Pakistan. With 1,524 fatalities and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations in 2023, KP and Balochistan emerged as the primary centers of violence, accounting for over 90 per cent of all fatalities and 84 per cent of attacks, Dawn reported.

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