Bilawal to halt electioneering in K-P, Punjab following Peshawar attack

LAHORE: Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has decided to halt all electioneering in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Punjab following the attack on an Awami National Party rally on late Tuesday night.

A senior party leader confirmed to The Express Tribune, that the party believes that the suicide attack was an attempt to give clear ground to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). PPP believes that ANP and other parties were the only competition PTI had in K-P, he added.

PPP’s senior leader further said that the attack is also a message to all other parties, especially the PPP, to leave the ground.

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At least 20 people, including ANP leader Haroon Bilour, were martyred and 63 others were injured in a suicide bombing targetting the party’s rally in a congested neighbourhood of Peshawar late Tuesday night.

The attacker detonated his explosive belt close to the ANP leader’s vehicle as he approached a rally organised to promote his election in the Yakatoot area of the provincial capital.

Claiming responsibility for the attack, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson termed the assassination “revenge for ANP’s previous government”. The statement warns of further attacks.

Bashir Bilour, the father of Haroon, was also martyred in a suicide bombing targeting his rally in the fabled Qissa Khawani bazaar of Peshawar in December 2012. The outlawed TTP had claimed responsibility for that attack.

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