Escalating Electoral Violence: Two Injured in Grenade Attacks on PPP and NP Election Offices in Balochistan
Global Human Rights Defence
Two individuals sustained injuries in a grenade assault targeting the National Party's electoral headquarters in Mastung, Balochistan, as reported by local authorities on Sunday evening. Abdul Fatah, the City Police Station House Officer (SHO), informed Dawn.com that unidentified assailants hurled a grenade at the party's office before fleeing the scene. The wounded individuals, Ghulam Mohiuddin and Abdul Aziz Shami, were promptly transported to DHQ Hospital for medical attention, with Shami later transferred to Quetta for further treatment. The police established a checkpoint in the vicinity following the attack. Earlier in the week, a police constable lost his life in an armed assault at the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) regional office in Turbat. In a separate incident, an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion occurred outside the residence of former PTI provincial minister Malik Shah Muhammad Khan in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. DSP Imran Aslam disclosed that the IED was attached to a motorcycle parked outside Muhammad's house. Although Muhammad was absent during the blast, his son, who was in the guest house, remained unharmed. Law enforcement swiftly responded to the scene, launching a search operation to apprehend the perpetrators, while medical personnel from Rescue 1122 evacuated the injured to the District Headquarters Hospital in Bannu. Preceding the much-anticipated nationwide elections slated for February 8, miscreants targeted election offices of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the National Party (NP) in Balochistan, raising concerns over security measures. Two grenade explosions underscored the escalating violence ahead of the general polls, prompting intensified election campaigns nationwide. Politicians faced threats and attacks as violence permeated the political landscape, with unknown individuals launching grenades at the NP's election office in Mastung, resulting in injuries and triggering a search operation by police forces. The NP denounced the attack, vowing to persist in electioneering and demanding accountability from local authorities. Another incident targeted a PPP election office in Qalat district, although no casualties were reported. The escalation in violence coincides with a surge in terrorist activities across Pakistan, underscoring the challenges of ensuring security during the electoral process.
Sources and further readings:
 https://www.geo.tv/latest/528892-two-injured-in-grenade-attacks-on-ppp-np-election-offices-in-balochistan [Accessed 28 January 2024]
 https://www.dawn.com/news/1809303/2-injured-in-grenade-attack-on-national-partys-election-office-in-mastung [Accessed 28 January 2024]