KP interim CM confident of holding elections despite surge in terrorism

January 31, 2023

KP interim CM says terror incidents have been taking place in province much before announcement of polls

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Caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Azam Khan talking to the media in Peshawar on January 31, 2023. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan Tuesday attempted to rubbish the perception created after the ghastly Peshawar suicide attack that polls in the terror-hit province may be delayed due to worsening law and order situation.

Nearly 100 people were martyred while over 200 sustained injuries when a suicide bomber exploded inside a mosque during Zohr prayers a day earlier.

KP Governor Ghulam Ali last week had also hinted at delaying polls and said that the election date will be announced after a comprehensive review by law enforcement agencies.

Addressing a press briefing in Peshawar today, flanked by provincial police chief Moazzam Jah Ansari, after visiting the blast site in Police Lines, CM Khan was asked whether elections could be postponed due to terrorism.

“It has nothing to do with polls. Terror incidents were taking place much before the announcement of elections,” the chief minister said.

Khan noted that terror incidents are taking place in KP's South — DI Khan, Lakki Marwat, and Tank areas.

In reply to another question, Khan said: “My message to the people is to keep their spirits high. Such things are happening here for the last 40 years, this is not a new thing.”

He said that due to the Afghan war, they were facing the scourge of terrorism in ex-Fata and KP “We should pray to God that we would fight this menace.”

Khan said that the administration and police are taking steps to curb this menace.

In the same press conference, KP Inspector-General of Police Ansari said that about 10-12 kilogrammes of explosives were used in the blast that rocked Peshawar.

He said that there has been a security lapse and investigations are underway to ascertain the facts.

"We are checking one-month's CCTV footage and tracking the facilitators of the bomber," he added.

The provincial police chief said that a joint investigation team (JIT) has been notified and the probe will clear everything soon. Those responsible will be identified and brought to book, he added.

He said that the attacker might have entered the premises as a guest. He added that the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had denied responsibility for the attack last night.

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