PESHAWAR - On one hand the political parties have started their campaigns for the upcoming general elections while on the other hand the Awami National Party (ANP) confronted with serious security challenges as since March 31 five major attacks have been reported against the party leadership.

The ANP leadership is continuously criticising the interim government for not taking enough security measures to protect workers of the nationalist party.

The first ever attack since March was carried out against ANP candidate Adnan Wazir, who is intended to contest elections from the PK-72 Bannu. He was targeted in the Jani Khail area of Bannu, when a remote control device targeted his vehicle. Adnan along with his two friends critically injured and shifted to district Head Quarters Hospital Bannu.

These attacks gained momentum, when former provincial minister and ANP candidate for the NA-4 Arbab Ayub Jan was targeted near his residence as he along with eight others sustained minor injuries.

It was second attack on his life as earlier to this Arbab Ayub Jan had escaped an attack in which several persons had been killed.

In a similar kind of incident, ANP candidate for the NA-12 Haji Rahmanullah along with his son Ameer Rahman, candidate for the PK-31, were targeted when they were on way to Shiekh Jana Village.

Both, father and son were luckily escaped.

Last night, in another attack in district Charsadda, four persons, including ANP candidate for the PK-21 Syed Masoom Shah was injured when a remote controlled explosive device hit their convoy in Shabqadar area of Charsadda.

The device dumped on a roadside in a heap of garbage as Masoom Shah was on way back from a political gathering in Katozai area of Charsadda.

Similarly, the house of another candidate from Khyber Agency Munaf Afridi, who is supported by the ANP, was attacked with a hand grenade on Friday last, however, he remained safe.

It is not the first time that violent attacks are taking place during the election campaign. The 2008 general elections witnessed a number of violent attacks in which several ANP leaders were targeted.

There is no pause in these attacks since the Taliban reign in district Swat as the ANP leadership spoke openly against the militants group and this is the reason that they are on their hit list. ANP stalwart late Bashir Ahmad Bilour, who was powerful voice against Taliban, was targeted in a suicide attack in Peshawar.

Likewise ANP’s MPA from Swat Dr Shamsher was killed inside his hujra when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive jacket while another ANP MPA Alamzeb Khan was targeted in Peshawar when he was on way to home.

Similarly, former provincial minister Sardar Husain Babak was also attacked in Buner.

ANP leadership claimed that more than 600 of their workers have been targeted in the ongoing war against militancy.