ANP to contest elections, says Asfandyar Wali Khan; party announces three days ‘peaceful protest’

PESHAWAR: While speaking to media on Wednesday, the Awami National Party president Asfandyar Wali Khan, showed resolve that the party will continue to campaign for the upcoming General Election 2018, a day after 20 people, including party leader Haroon Bilour, were killed in suicide explosion in Peshawar.

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The suicide attack occurred during a party corner meeting in Yakatoot neighbourhood of Peshawar.

He shared that the party will resume campaigning after a three-day peaceful protest. The party’s main focus is to become victorious in the elections, he said, adding “We have to contest elections and win now.”

According to Newsone, the death toll in the Peshawar suicide attack, which took  the life of Awami National Party leader Barrister Haroon Bilour, has increased to 20.

Currently, 62 people injured in the suicide attack are seeking treatment at Lady Reading Hospital, authorities confirmed.

The explosion occurred late Tuesday night in the Yakatoot neighbourhood moments after Bilour arrived to address a corner meeting.

Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour among 12 others, including police officials were martyred in a suicide blast during election campaign at Yaka Toot area of Peshawar, Newsone reported on Tuesday.

According to details, more than 30 people were injured in the result of blast. The blast occurred when corner meeting was underway.

Rescue teams reached the site immediately and shifted the injured to lady reading hospital. The law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have cordoned off the area.

Haroon Bilour is contesting election from Peshawar’s provincial constituency PK-78. Haroon was taken to hospital after he was critically injured in the blast, however, the injured candidate succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards.

His father Bashir Bilour was also martyred in 2012 suicide blast.

It is pertinent to mention here that this is the first political causality of 2018 election campaign.

ANP leader Zahid Khan talking with Newsone has condemned the attack and warned to boycott 2018 election if such attacks against party was not stopped.

“This is the repetition of 2013 election targets against ANP,” he added.

Election commission of Pakistan has condemned the attack, adding that ECP had already advised all provincial governments to provide proper security to election candidates.

“Such types of attacks are being made to sabotage election 2018,” said ECP.

Caretaker prime minister, president and political leaders have condemned the attack and expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives.

PTI chief Imran has demanded the caretaker government to provide proper security to all election candidates during the campaign.

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