189 people killed during election campaigns

The electioneering for general polls 2013 has been the most competitive and frantic in country’s history as 149 incidents of election-related violence were recorded between March 17 and May 9.
The violence has caused loss of approximately 189 precious lives and injured roughly 667 persons.
In its preliminary findings on – Election Violence during 2013 Campaign Period – Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) revealed that the hardest-hit province has been Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), followed by Sindh and Balochistan.
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) has seen relatively fewer incidents of violence directly related to the elections, but the severe militant insurgency in that region continued unabated throughout the campaign period.
Punjab has experienced the least election violence during this time; however, during the last week of the campaign period, a string of incidents did take place in the province, bringing up the tally.
Giving province-wise detail about incidents of electoral violence, the FAFEN further revealed that the number was 52 in KP, 43 in Sindh, 37 in Balochistan 10 in FATA and seven in Punjab.
It said the violence has predominantly targeted political parties including 42 attacks targeting candidates. KP and Sindh saw the highest number of attacks on political parties, with Balochistan not far behind. Balochistan and KP were the provinces where candidates, in particular, were targeted the most.
Polling stations (or educational institutions designated as polling stations) were targeted almost exclusively in Balochistan, as were election officials, which is in keeping with the general political violence trend in the province.
With regard to categories of electoral violence and their frequency in each province, the network revealed that there were 57 attacks on political party workers/supporters which included seven in Balochistan, two in FATA, 20 in KP, three in Punjab and 25 in Sindh.
During the campaign period, there were 42 attacks on candidates including 16 in Balochistan, four in FATA, 15 in KP, two in Punjab and five in Sindh.
Attacks on political party offices/property were 27 including five in Balochistan, two in FATA, nine in KP, and one in Punjab and 10 in Sindh.
Clashes between political parties were eight, including one in Balochistan, four in KP, one in Punjab and two in Sindh.
Attacks on polling stations were seven, including six in Balochistan and one in Sindh. Attacks on election officials were two which occurred in Balochistan while only one attack was reported on community members in KP during the campaign period.
The Awami National Party (ANP) was most frequently the target of electoral violence during the campaign period, having been targeted in 29 incidents overall.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) was targeted in 23 incidents, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) in 16 incidents and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in 12.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were targeted in six and four incidents respectively.
Ten incidents involved independent candidates and/or their workers and supporters being targeted.
Of the above-mentioned incidents where political parties were targeted, 42 were attacks on candidates.
Candidates of the ANP were targeted most, including in six incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and one each in FATA and Sindh.
Candidates of the JUI-F were targeted most in Balochistan (four incidents), and were also targeted in FATA and KP (one incident each).
Candidates of the PML-N were also mostly targeted in Balochistan (four incidents), and in one incident in FATA.
Candidates of the PPP were targeted in two incidents in Sindh, and in one incident each in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
Candidates of the PTI were attacked in two incidents in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while JI candidates were attacked in one incident each in Balochistan and FATA.
In three incidents, candidates were killed. These included a candidate of the ANP, a candidate of the MQM and an independent candidate.
Perpetrators of election-related violence were mostly unidentified and/or militants. Nine incidents were known to be perpetrated by political party workers or supporters.
Bombing was a predominant tactic of election-related violence, closely followed by gunfire. The high number of bombings in election violence is consistent with the implication that most of the violence was perpetrated by militants/insurgents.
A few incidents also involved missiles – these incidents were all in Balochistan and were perpetrated by unknown actors.