KARACHI: With general elections less than three weeks away, Arslan Khalid — a PTI-affiliated independent candidate (NA-248) — was among 10 people who sustained injuries during an attack on "Mehfil-e-Milad" in Karachi.
In the first information report (FIR) lodged at Azizabad Police Station, Khalid stated that he organised a “Mehfil-e-Milad” on behalf of PTI at his plot in Federal B Area's Azizabad.
“At 12:30[am], around 100 to 200 unidentified masked men entered the plot and attacked me and my companions with punches, kicks and batons.”
Khalid said he suffered injuries to his head and was rushed to Abbassi Shaheed Hospital for treatment.
However, a spokesperson of the PTI blamed Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) for the attack. The spokesperson demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the caretaker Sindh government take strict notice of the incident.
Stern action should be taken against the suspects involved in the attack, the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) candidate from NA-250 Khawaja Sohail Mansoor also accused MQM-P of attacking his party election offices set up in areas falling under NA-250 and PS-129.
Political parties' election campaigns have, in the past and the ongoing as well, witnessed spasms of violence, with scores of candidates and voters targeted — and either rivals or militants are blamed.
Earlier this month, a local leader of PTI, Shah Khalid, was shot dead by unidentified armed men in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) Swabi district.
Another independent election candidate was killed in North Waziristan in the same month. The independent candidate, identified as Kaleemullah Khan, was eyeing to contest polls for the KP assembly's PK-104.
In a separate incident on the same day, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) candidate for NA-258 Aslam Buledi sustained injuries during a firing incident in Turbat City.
The deadly attacks on candidates come as the country gears up for the February 8 general elections, with much hope of ridding the nation of problems — such as political turmoil, terrorism, and economic ills.
Former member of the National Assembly and National Democratic Movement (NDM) leader Mohsin Dawar's convoy had also come under a gun attack by terrorists in the Tappi village this month.