Militants Kill Pakistan Secularist Candidate

Militants in Pakistan targeted members of two leading secular political parties in Pakistan who are candidates. One was killed, after Pakistani Taliban warned secular groups would be attacked during the run-up to the May 11 national election.

Pakistan’s three largest secular parties in politics took part in a coalition government, which led Pakistan following the 2008 national election. They said they are now at a disadvantage due to the attacks made by the Taliban.

Fakhrul Islam, a member of Mutahhida Qaumi Movement and an ethnic Pashtun who was a candidate for the upcoming general elections was killed and relatives along with mourners attended his funeral in Hyderabad, Pakistan.

Fakhrul Islam was killed on Thursday and the Taliban claimed the killing was their responsibility. The MQM, the Awami National Party and the Pakistan Peoples Party have all been identified in threats by the Taliban against secular groups.

In addition, on Thursday a lawmaker from the ANP who is running to be re-elected was able to survive a bombing hear the city in northwest Pakistan know as Peshawar.

The election on May 11 will choose a new national government and new governments for the four national provinces. This will mark just the first time in the history of the country that a civil government will serve a complete term and then be followed by another government democratically elected.

The recent threats and killing against members of the secular parties by the Taliban in Pakistan could help conservative and religious groups by giving them the opportunity to hold campaign events for the public. Members of secular parties are hoping to get sympathy votes from the other voters.

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