Festivities on Bakrid day were marred after a suicide bomber killed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Law and Parliamentary affairs minister Sardar Israrullah Khan Gandapur and at least seven others on Wednesday evening at Kulachi in Dera Ismail Khan District.

Shiraz Paracha, spokesperson for the KPK Chief Minister told The Hindu on the phone that Mr. Gandapur had spent the day meeting people on the occasion of Bakrid at his residence in Kulachi, which is about 90 minutes drive away from Dera Ismail Khan. At about 6 pm (Pakistani time), a man walked up to Mr. Gandapur, greeted him, then blew himself up, killing the minister and seven others.

The attack injured nine though the number could be much higher, Mr. Paracha said. Son of former Chief Minister of North West Frontier Province Sardar Inayatullah Khan Gandapur, he was 39 and elected as an independent following which he joined the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) and was made a minister in the ruling provincial government. There was an attempt on his life in April when he survived a bomb attack on his vehicle. He is the third provincial assembly member to be killed this year.

Previous deaths

In June an independent member of the KPK assembly Imran Khan Mohmand was killed by a suicide bomber while attending a funeral in Mardan. Another independent member Fareed Khan was also shot dead in Hangu city.

The KPK government is led by the PTI which has been assailed for its lack of direction and a foolproof security plan to prevent terror strikes. Peshawar has been bombed several times in the recent past and even polio teams are not safe.

Talks with the Taliban are wavering and the PTI chief Imran Khan did not help matters by demanding that the Taliban be allowed to open an office for discussions.