By J. Dana Stuster
With Pakistani elections looming on May 11, it seems like every day brings a new report about destabilizing attacks in the country. The unrelenting violence, which Pakistan’s Express Tribune has dubbed the “Reign of Terror,” includes assassinations that have delayed elections in several districts and left a staggering number of casualties. Bloomberg has compiled the most thoroughtimeline of the attacks and estimates that, in the past month, “at least 118 people have been killed and 494 injured.”
Terrorists – mostly from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but also Baluchi separatists – have pursued politicians in particular, and candidates have been gunned down in the streets. On May 3, Saddiq Zaman Khattak, a parliamentary candidate for the secular Awami National Party (ANP), wasshot and killed along with his three-year-old son while returning from Friday prayers in Karachi. Gunmen ambushed ANP candidate Muhammad Islam on April 27, killing his brother in the attack. And Fakhrul Islam, a provincial assembly candidate for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) party in Hyderabad, was assassinated by the TTP on April 11.