Candidate of Imran Khan’s party killed in bombing

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A candidate from the party of Pakistan prime ministerial hopeful and former cricket star Imran Khan was killed on Sunday in a suicide attack that wounded four others, a police official said, days before Wednesday’s general elections.
Sunday’s attack targeted the vehicle of Ikramullah Gandapur, a candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), or Pakistan Justice Movement, for the provisional legislative assembly in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, after he was leaving a political meeting, two police officials said.
“Ikramullah Gandapur has been killed and we are conducting a post-mortem,” said police official Zahoor Afridi, adding that 10 kg of explosives had been used in the attack.
Gandapur had been informed about serious threats to his life and been provided with 11 policemen, but he did not inform the police about his political meeting on Sunday, Afridi said.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, a spokesman for the militant group said.
In 2013, Gandapur’s brother, Israrullah, who was then the provincial law minister, was killed in a suicide attack on his home.
Meanwhile, a candidate for the party of ousted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has been jailed for life by an anti-narcotics court, just days before a general election.
Hanif Abbasi, seen as a strong candidate for the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) in Wednesday’s poll, was sentenced in a rare late-night session on Saturday. The six-year-old case was related to the supply of ephedrine to a drug smuggler.
In another development, Pakistan’s top court on Sunday said it had begun reviewing statements made by a judge alleging the country’s spy agencies were influencing judicial proceedings, as the powerful military called for an investigation. Islamabad High Court judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui accused the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), of interfering in legal cases.
— Reuters/AFP