Sindh tops in incidents of political violence

Karachi: Sindh topped in the incidents of political violence in Pakistan, according to a report of Free and Fair Election Network FAFEN, released in Islamabad on Monday.

It said 24 political violence incidents between January 12 and 18 claimed 45 lives and injured 74 others across Pakistan. Civilians remained the major target, constituting 49% of the total victims followed by state security forces 38% and militants 7%.

Regionwise Sindh reported nine incidents, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6, Federally Administered Tribal Areas 5, Balochistan 3 and Islamabad 1. However, no incident was reported in Punjab, Gilgit/Baltistan and the Frontier Regions.

The death toll decreased sharply from last’s week 205 to 45 in the reporting period. The number of those injured fell too, from 263 to 74. Political violence incidents also dropped down from 51 to 24.

The victims regionwise included 26 people dead and 43 injured, mainly in terrorism incidents in FATA. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported 17 people injured in an attack on a political party leader and a clash between political parties’ student wings. In Sindh 11 people were killed and five injured in terrorism incidents, target killings, sectarian violence and attacks on political party workers and leaders. Terrorism claimed eight lives and injured one in Balochistan while in Islamabad eight people sustained injuries in a clash between police and protesters.

Most attacks 14 targeted civilians followed by five each aimed at government and private property and state security forces. Those against property included public transport being burnt by arsonists in Karachi; an attack each on a government-run school and Basic Health Unit BHU in Charsadda; targeting of a CDs shop in Nowshera and a Khyber Agency government-run school.

In the reporting week, 15 terrorism incidents killed 34 people and injured 49 others. Five attacks targeted state security forces while four were aimed at public. Similarly, three attacks each were against public and private property.

In attacks on political party leaders and workers and a clash between student wings of political parties, five people got killed with 17 injured. In Karachi, gunmen shot dead four MQM representatives including a member of Sindh Provincial Assembly. A Sunni Tehreek worker was also gunned down. Elsewhere, in Charsadda an improvised explosive device hit an ANP leader’s convoy leaving him and 15 others injured. In Mardan, two student activists of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf were injured in a clash with a rival student group. Three people were shot dead in as many target killing incidents in Karachi with five sustaining injuries in an incident of tribal conflict; two got killed and five were injured in Khyber Agency while a sectarian violence incident claimed one life in Karachi.

During the reporting week the most lethal tactic was the use of guns/firearms that killed 39 people and injured 50 others. Improvised explosive devices, used in eight instances, killed six people and injured 16 others. In another incident involving the use of guns/firearms and stone pelting, eight people sustained injuries.

Political violence occurred in seven districts, down from the preceding week’s 13 districts. Khyber Agency was the most violent region where 26 people were killed and 43 injured in attacks on state security forces, anti-Taliban tribal leaders and the public.

Target killings, sectarian violence and attacks on political party workers in Karachi claimed 11 lives, injuring five others.

In an incident involving the use of improvised explosives device, an ANP leader and 15 others were injured while in a clash between police and protesters of Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran, eight people got injured, among them two policemen.

Five policemen were killed in an attack on a police van in Panjgur while one attack each on a NATO supply vehicle and the public left three people dead and one injured in Quetta.