Rehan Zeb Khan, a PTI-backed independent candidate, was shot dead in the Siddiqabad area of Bajaur district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The attack occurred while Khan was campaigning, marking a concerning uptick in violence against political figures ahead of the general elections.
According to Khar Police Station House Officer Rasheed Khan, the assailants opened fire on Khan’s vehicle, leading to his immediate transport to the District Headquarters Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The incident also left four others injured, further intensifying the grim atmosphere among political circles and the general populace.
Bajaur District Police Officer Kashif Zulfiqar suggested that the murder appeared to be a targeted killing, prompting law enforcement to initiate a comprehensive search operation in the region. The PTI has expressed strong condemnation of the attack, emphasizing the alarming trend of violence directed towards its affiliates and casting doubt on the integrity of the forthcoming elections.
The party has called for an expedited investigation into the attack and demanded adequate security measures for all PTI-backed candidates. Additionally, the PTI urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to scrutinize the incident closely, accusing the caretaker government of neglecting its constitutional duties in favor of political bias.
This incident, coupled with the recent bombing at a PTI rally in Sibi, has raised significant concerns about election safety and the potential for further violence. The ECP has acknowledged the gravity of the situation by seeking detailed reports from the KP chief secretary and police chief, insisting on swift justice for the culprits.
As Pakistan navigates through these turbulent pre-election times, the call for peace, security, and fairness in the electoral process has never been more critical.