212 Civilians Killed in 7 Terror Attacks in the Run-Up to 2018 Pakistan Election
Wednesday's attack in Quetta was the seventh terror incident in the run-up to the 11th General Election in Pakistan in July, taking the death toll of civilians to 212 in July itself.
Pakistani volunteers and security officers visit the site of a bombing in Quetta, Pakistan. (Image: AP)
In Pakistan's restive Balochistan province, a suicide blast targeting a police van killed at least 28 people, including five policemen and two children and injured nearly 30 others near Quetta's Eastern Bypass even as the nation went to polls on Wednesday.
In separate incidents, three others were killed, including a worker of former cricketer Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa's Swabi district and another in firing outside Mirpurkhas polling station, taking the toll to 31 on the Election Day.
This is the seventh terror incident in the run-up to the 11th General Election in Pakistan in July, taking the death toll of civilians to 212 in July itself.
Earlier on July 13, at least 149 civilians were killed and 186 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up targeting a political rally of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) at Dringarh village in Mastung District of Balochistan.
Here’s a timeline of pre-election violence in Pakistan:
This isn’t the first time that the terror outfits have tried to muzzle democracy in the subcontinent by carrying out attacks during the poll process.
General elections in Pakistan have been a bloody affair in the recent past. During the 2013 elections, Pakistan saw the deaths of at least 549 people, including 283 civilians, 81 security personnel and 185 terrorists or insurgents.
In a major attack on April 16, 2013, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) tried to assassinate Haroon Bilour by carrying out an attack in the Mundabheri area of Yakatoot in Peshawar. He escaped unhurt but for his uncle and senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader Ghulam Ahmed Bilour who was killed along with 16 others.
Similarly, the 2008 General Elections, too, was marred by terror incidents. In February 2008, at least 245 people, including 182 civilians, 33 security personnel and 30 militants, were killed in terror-related violence. The worst, however, took place a couple of days before a 1.6 million-strong Pakistan went to polls, i.e. on February 16, when 47 people were killed, including six children, and another 109 were injured after a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into the election office of an independent candidate in Parachinar city, FATA.
Though the terrorism-related fatalities have recorded a declining trend over the past decade in Pakistan but it has bucked the trend during the run-up to elections — during a single week (between July 9 and July 15, 2018) Pakistan has accounted for at least 178 terrorism-related deaths.
Can the winning party of the 2018 help curb the menace of terrorism? Here’s what the top three parties said in their election manifesto.
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