The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Wednesday claimed responsibility for the Peshawar suicide blast that killed senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader Haroon Bilour and 19 others on Tuesday night. Bilour, whose father Bashir Bilour was also killed in a TTP-claimed suicide attack in 2012, was targeted on Tuesday night at an election gathering in the Yakatoot area. He was contesting the election from the PK-78 constituency. The blast took place when Bilour arrived at the site of a corner meeting. He suffered serious injuries and was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) where he succumbed to his wounds.
Political parties are campaigning for the oncoming general elections and they are holding public rallies, in such a scenario terrorists could target the innocent people. There is dire need to enhance security of public places and gatherings as there are threats that more terrorist attacks could hit the public rallies. Peshawar has seen scores of attacks on civilians as well as law enforcement personnel in the past. Law enforcing agencies have big task to combat terrorism. Though security situation has improved manifold in the country but still there is a lot more needs to be done to completely eliminate militants. Involvement of hostile foreign agencies in terror activities in the country can’t be denied after concrete evidences and arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav. But ensuring that these hostile agencies are eliminated completely from the country is also the job of the state.
Despite decline in terrorist activities in the country, we should not be over the moon until terrorism is completely eliminated from our country. It is the time that we need to implement all 20-points of National Action Plan with spirit and letter. After defeat in the battlefield, terrorists are looking for soft targets. We also need to enhance intelligence based operations because it is a proven and effective way to tackle terrorist attacks in the cities.
Awami National Party (ANP) that is considered an anti-Taliban political party was hit by many terrorist attacks in last general elections and eventually they had to abandon their political campaigns. Even in these elections ANP’s public gathering has been targeted and their one stalwart has been killed. We hope that there is no more such gory incident against any political party and law enforcing agencies would held the culprits involved in terrorist incidents.
It is tragic that like previous elections once again ANP is being targeted by TTP.