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Parliamentary Candidate Survives Assassination Attempt In Pakistan


Pakistan's election campaign has been marred by violence as well as what critics describe as a crackdown on political activists, journalists, and opposition figures.

Pakistani police say a candidate running for a seat in the national parliament in the July 25 elections has escaped an assassination attempt -- the latest in a series of election-related attacks in the country.

Police in the eastern province of Punjab said on July 17 that a vehicle carrying Sheikh Aftab Ahmed and his son, Salman Sarwar, came under attack by gunfire in the Attock district late on July 16 when they were returning to their home from an election rally.

Police said Ahmed was "safe" without specifying whether he sustained any injuries. They said at least three bullets struck the vehicle.

Ahmed is running for parliament as a member of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party and served as a minister in Sharif's cabinet. His son is running for a provincial council seat.

Sharif was arrested last week upon returning to Pakistan from London to face a 10-year prison sentence for corruption.

Pakistan's election campaign has been marred by violence as well as what critics describe as a crackdown on political activists, journalists, and opposition figures.

Some 150 people, including a local candidate, were killed on July 13 when a suicide bomber attacked an election rally in the southwestern province of Balochistan. More than 180 people were wounded in that attack.

On the same day, four people were killed by a bombing that targeted a campaign rally in the northern town of Bannu.

Based on reporting by AP, Ndtv.com, and BBC

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