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QUETTA: The government of Balochistan imposed a ban on Sunday on public meetings and electoral gatherings in Quetta citing security threats.
Balochistan’s Information Minister, Jan Achakzai, used the social media platform X to declare a ban, citing a “terror alert” about a potential female suicide bomber in Quetta. Stressing the need for caution, he called for political gatherings and electoral meetings to be held indoors.
The govt of #Balochistan has implemented a ban on public meetings and election gatherings in Quetta, in response to a threat alert regarding the potential involvement of a female suicide bomber.
All political parties and candidates have been urged to conduct their meetings…
— Jan Achakzai / جان اچکزئی (@Jan_Achakzai) February 3, 2024
As the country approaches the February 8 polls, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are experiencing an alarming rise in violence, including acts of terrorism and threats against prominent political figures. The government of Balochistan emphasized the priority of public safety, urging all political parties and candidates to prioritize security.
Recent incidents in Balochistan include a fatal blast on Sabzal Road in Quetta and separate hand-grenade attacks in Jaffarabad and Turbat cities, resulting in casualties. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) expressed deep concern over these attacks and sought a report from the Balochistan chief secretary and inspector general.
Additional instances of violence involved a hand grenade thrown at the office of PPP candidate Mir Nooruddin Nowsherwani in Kharan and another at the PML-N office on Qambrani Road, Quetta. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) reported threats to 15 political figures in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, prompting heightened security measures.
Meanwhile, a sit-in and protest in Khar Bazaar, Bajaur, continued following the killing of National Assembly candidate Rehan Zeb. In Quetta, an attack on the PPP election office on Sariab Road injured five people, while a hand grenade was thrown at the residence of PPP candidate Mir Zahoor Buledi in district Kech.
The overall situation remains tense as election-related violence persists, with law enforcement agencies facing challenges in maintaining peace and stability in the region.