A second bombing in Balochistan, occurring within an hour of an earlier explosion in Pishin, resulted in at least nine people killed and 22 others injured, including three critically, in Balochistan’s Qilla Saifullah district, this time outside a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) office.
The first explosion, reportedly the result of a bomb planted in a motorcycle outside the political office of independent candidate Asfandyar Khan Kakar, resulted in at least 15 deaths and more than 30 injuries. Authorities have warned most of the injured are in critical condition and are being shifted to hospital for further treatment.
In a statement, interim Balochistan Chief Minister Jan Achakzai stressed that neither of the bombings would result in any delay to general elections, due tomorrow on Feb. 8. “Allow me to reiterate our unwavering commitment to relentlessly pursue terrorists until every last one of them is eliminated,” he wrote in a statement on X.
“Rest assured, we will not allow terrorists to undermine or sabotage this crucial democratic process,” he added, referring to the general elections. While Achakzai said 10 people were killed in the blast, hospital authorities said there were nine bodies. The city’s deputy commissioner, meanwhile, said 12 people were killed in the bombing.
The bombing in Qilla Saifullah occurred outside the office of JUIF leader Maulana Abdul Wassay, who is contesting elections from PB-3. He remained unhurt, as he was not in the office at the time.
The JUIF has repeatedly come under attack in this election campaign, particularly in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Last year, Daesh claimed an attack on a political rally in Bajaur. A month later, a JUIF leader was targeted while traveling from Quetta to Kalat. Earlier, JUIF leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman had warned his party was increasingly in the crosshairs of militants and urged authorities to delay polls for a month or two to allow for security to be ensured. Regardless, he had added, the JUIF would participate in elections.
Condemning the blast, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Rana Sanaullah expressed regret over the “the loss of precious lives” in the bombing outside the JUIF office. “We have fought this scourge before and eradicated it, we will fight these terrorists again,” he vowed.
Earlier, condemning the blast at Pishin, interim Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz had vowed to deal with anyone involved in such terrorist acts with “iron hands.” He stressed the government would take all possible steps to ensure peace during the elections.