DI KHAN: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sardar Ikramullah Gandapur was martyred as a suicide bomber targetted his vehicle in DI Khan’s Kulachi Tehsil on Sunday, the deputy commissioner said.
Gandapur was said to be leaving his home for an election meeting when his jeep was targetted.
The PTI candidate was among four injured in the attack and succumbed to his wounds at the hospital. He was first taken to District Headquarters Hospital but was then shifted to the Combined Military Hospital’s (CMH) operation theatre owing to his injuries.
“Two police guards and Gandapur’s driver were injured in the attack,” the deputy commissioner told Geo News, adding that their condition is critical.
Investigations are under way, the police said, adding that severed limbs of the suicide bomber have also been recovered from the blast site.
The former agriculture minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was contesting the July 25 polls from PK-99 (DI Khan-V).
Gandapur’s brother, Israrullah, was killed on October 16, 2013 in a suicide bombing while greeting visitors on Eid-ul-Azha in his hometown of Kulachi.
He was a serving minister in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government at the time of his death and elected from the then-PK-67 constituency.
Gandapur was elected on his brother’s seat after a by-election following his death.
Their third brother, Inamullah Khan Gandapur, is a senior bureaucrat who has served in the Federal Investigation Agency and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
Their father, Sardar Inayaltullah Khan Gandapur, served as the chief minister and finance minister of then-NWFP government in the 1970s.
Army chief condemns attack
General Qamar Javed Bajwa also expressed his grief over Gandapur’s death.
“COAS expresses his grief on martyrdom of Ikramullah Gandapur in suicide attack. We have lost another patriotic political leader who are being targeted by enemies of peace & democratic process. We stay determined & steadfast. Blood of our martyrs shall not go waste, IA [God willing]”, the Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.
Electioneering marred by violence
A spate of terrorist attacks has taken place in the current month. On July 10, a bomb targeted a rally by the Awami National Party (ANP) in Peshawar, martyring local party leader Haroon Bilour along with 21 others.
An attack on a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) convoy in Bannu on July 13 followed the tragic Peshawar incident. The Bannu incident claimed lives of at least four people, while 10 others were injured in the explosion.
Later the same day, one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the country’s history took place which claimed the lives of over 150 people. Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate Nawab Siraj Raisani was among the martyred when a suicide bomber blew himself up during Raisani’s election rally in Mastung’s Darengarh area.
A week after the Mastung blast, on July 16, ANP leader Daud Khan Achakzai was injured after unidentified persons opened fire on the guest house of the party’s candidate Zmrak Khan Achakzai in Chaman.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader and former federal minister Sheikh Aftab Ahmed’s vehicle was fired at in Attock as was the convoy of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son Ali Musa in Multan recently.