Peshawar: A former provincial minister and senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) today survived an assassination bid when a suicide bomber blew himself near his car, injuring him and killing his driver and guard in Pakistan’s troubled Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, police said.
Ikramullah Gandapur, a candidate for the provincial assembly seat from PK-99 constituency, was on his way to an election meeting when the suicide bomber targeted his vehicle in Dera Ismail Khan. His guard and driver were killed in the attack while he is said to be in a critical condition at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dera Ismail Khan DPO Manzoor Afridi told reporters.
Gandapur served as the provincial agricultural minister in the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.
He was elected through a by-election on the Dera Ismail Khan PK-67 seat, after it was vacated following the death of his brother Law Minister Israrulah Gandapur in a suicide attack.
Around the same time that Gandapur came under attack, Jamiat-Ulema-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Akram Khan Durrani, a former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa chief minister, survived a second assassination attempt in less than 10 days.
Durrani was going to address a political convention when his vehicle was ambushed by unknown gunmen in his home district Bannu, bordering North Waziristan district.
The gunmen opened indiscriminate fire on Durrani’s vehicle from the frontal side. However, he remained unhurt in the attack.
Durrani is contesting for NA-35 under the Muttahida Majlise-e-Amal (MMA) banner against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan.
This is the third attack on election candidates in Bannu district and second on Durrani ahead of July 25 polling.
On July 13, an attack targeting JUI-F’s central general secretary killed four persons with wounded as many as 39. Durrani, however, remained unhurt in the attack.
On the same day, 149 people, including a top nationalist leader, were killed and over 200 others injured in a powerful suicide blast in Mastung area in the troubled Balochistan province.
The security situation in Pakistan has deteriorated ahead of polls. The campaigning to the general elections has been hit hard by terrorist attacks claimed by the Tehreek-e-Taliban and ISIS outfits.