“Deadly Explosions Balochistan Ahead of Pakistan Elections: At Least 28 Killed in Targeted Attacks on Election Candidates”

Quetta witnessed a devastating day as two separate explosions rocked the region, claiming the lives of at least 28 individuals and leaving over 40 others wounded, casting a grim shadow just a day prior to the general elections in Pakistan.

The initial blast, which resulted in the loss of a minimum of 15 lives and left over 30 individuals injured, occurred outside the office of an independent candidate in the Pishin district of Balochistan. Meanwhile, the second explosion shook the vicinity of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) office in the Killa Saifullah district.

The blast in Pishin targeted the political office of independent candidate Asfand Yar Khan Kakar in the Khanozai area, who is vying for seats in the NA-265 constituency and the Balochistan Assembly constituencies PB-47 and PB-48 in the upcoming February 8 elections. Despite the devastation, Kakar was fortunately not present at the time of the explosion.

In the aftermath, the injured were swiftly transported to Tehsil Hospital Khanozai, with many in critical condition, as confirmed by Dr. Habib, the hospital’s Medical Superintendent. Subsequently, emergency measures were implemented across Quetta’s hospitals, with additional staff mobilized to address the influx of casualties.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) promptly responded to the tragedy, demanding a comprehensive report from the Balochistan chief secretary and Inspector General of Police (IGP). Expressing condemnation, the ECP vowed to take decisive action against those responsible for the heinous act.

Meanwhile, Kakar recounted the harrowing incident, describing how the explosion occurred outside his election office while his workers were finalizing arrangements. Tragically, eight of his workers lost their lives, with several others sustaining injuries.

In a separate incident, the JUI-F office in Killa Saifullah district fell victim to a similar attack, resulting in the death of at least 13 individuals and injuring 17 others. Despite the chaos, JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Wassay emerged unscathed from the assault.

Balochistan’s Caretaker Information Minister Jan Achakzai condemned the attacks, vowing that the terrorists’ nefarious objectives would not deter the resilience of the people. He affirmed the commitment to ensuring peaceful elections and asserted that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

Echoing Achakzai’s sentiments, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Haji Ghulam Ali conveyed his condolences over the Pishin blast, emphasizing the government’s determination to maintain peace and security throughout the electoral process.

Caretaker Interior Minister Gohar Ejaz denounced the attacks as despicable attempts to disrupt the democratic process, pledging stringent action against those responsible. He reiterated the government’s unwavering resolve to safeguard the lives and rights of its citizens, affirming that peace would prevail despite the adversities.

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