Violent campaigns: Clash erupts between JI, ANP activists

The confrontation began during an ANP election campaign.

Fazal Khaliq May 01, 2013
Workers from both parties blame each other for initiating violence. PHOTO: FILE


Activists of two political parties quarrelled and resorted to aerial firing during an election campaign in Mingora on Wednesday.

Workers of the Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) accused each other of starting the confrontation in separate press conferences held after the incident.

ANP leader and former minister for forest and environment Wajid Ali Khan told journalists at his house he was in a bazaar in Mingora, campaigning with his party workers when shots were fired.

“Someone fired in the air behind us just as we reached the last shop to speak to the owner.” Khan maintained the incident was a “clear attempt to sabotage the campaign.”

However, JI workers had a different story to tell.

They claimed Khan and other ANP workers were aggressive with JI activists and also fired shots in the air. “The ANP leader and workers inflicted violence and resorted to aerial firing after a shopkeeper, a JI supporter, refused to vote for them,” rebutted Muhammad Ameen, a JI activist.

“The rejection by a petty shopkeeper was considered an affront. It aggravated the ANP leader and caused his supporters to brutally assault the man.” Beating a poor shopkeeper was completely at odds with the ANP’s claims of adhering to Bacha Khan’s doctrine of non-violence, stated Ameen.

“ANP’s inevitable failure in the elections has caused them to demand votes at gun point,” said the JI activist.

The JI supporters were aware of these tactics and will not be discouraged from openly supporting their party, he added.

Ameen appealed to the Election Commission of Pakistan to take note of the incident and carry out an unbiased investigation into the matter.

He demanded the culprits be held responsible for their actions. Meanwhile, the battered shopkeeper lodged an FIR against his attackers and JI workers staged a rally in his support.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2013.


Qadir Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

ANP will be a big looser this time. Note this from a resident of Swabi

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