Pakistan's secular parties modify election campaign
Islamabad: Political parties in Pakistan have modified their election campaigns as terrorism threats loom large in many parts of the country.
Despite the ongoing de-weaponisation drive being carried out by law-enforcement agencies as part of targeted operations in different parts of Pakistan, terrorism threat looms large.
The frequent threats have compelled secular political parties to keep electioneering a low-key affair in some towns even after all appeals against rejection or acceptance of nomination papers of candidates are decided by the election tribunals and revised lists of candidates released, Dawn News reports.
According to the report, while the Awami National Party, Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement had also been named by a spokesman for the Tehreek-i- Taliban Pakistan as legitimate targets for militant attacks during the elections, the leaders of these parties believed that the 2013 general elections would lay the foundations of democracy and the rule of law.
Since the start of electoral process in Sindh, a PPP covering candidate for the provincial assembly seat PS-95 and some local leaders of the ANP have been killed in separate gun and bomb attacks in the city.
According to local police and residents, TTP, Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and other banned militant groups wield influence in major parts of district west and east and in some pockets of other districts of Karachi.
PPP information secretary Lateef Mughal said that terrorist acts and threats to sabotage elections will not make us change our stance against extremism.
However, he confirmed to Dawn that the party had given instructions to party candidates in sensitive areas to be watchful and avoid holding public gatherings in the wake of terror threats, it added.