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Another Pakistani Election Candidate Shot Dead

  • RFE/RL

A relative mourns next to the body of election candidate Sadiq Zaman Khattak in an ambulance in Karachi on May 3.

A relative mourns next to the body of election candidate Sadiq Zaman Khattak in an ambulance in Karachi on May 3.

A candidate in Pakistan's legislative elections later this month has been shot dead, along with his young son.

Sadiq Zaman Khattak was shot multiple times after he and his son completed Friday Prayers at a mosque in Karachi.

Khattak was a businessman and candidate for a seat in the National Assembly representing the Awami National Party (ANP). According to some sources, his son was 3 years old, while others said he was 6.

Khattak had said he received death threats. Pakistan's Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting.

Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan vowed attacks on candidates from secular parties such as the ANP would continue.

"There is danger everywhere and militants are killing us. But the provincial government doesn't care. They don't provide us security. They even withdrew the security that we had before," Bashir Jan, the general secretary of the ANP for Sindh Province, told RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal.

"We have stopped our campaign. We don't arrange public gatherings and corner meetings. We can't even leave our homes. Today it is Friday, but I can't go to the mosque. Despite all this, the public gives us their votes."

Some 60 people have been killed since April in violence linked to the May 11 elections.

Under election law, the voting must be postponed in constituencies where a candidate has been killed. Khattak's killing brings the number of such constituencies to three.

Also on May 3, the party of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, the All-Party Muslim League, said it will boycott the elections. Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan from self-imposed exile in March, faces numerous legal cases stemming from his 1999-2008 rule.

The May 11 elections for national and regional legislatures will mark the first time that a Pakistani civilian government has completed a full term of office and handed over power through elections.

With reporting by AFP, dpa, and RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal
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