Pakistan: assassination of a politician member of the ANP in Peshawar

Pakistan: assassination of a politician member of the ANP in Peshawar

Pakistan: assassination of a politician member of the ANP in Peshawar

In Pakistan, a politician who is a member of a secular party was assassinated on August 16 at her home in Peshawar, a conservative city in the northwest of the country, on the border of tribal areas where the Taliban are particularly active. Two years ago, an attack had already targeted and killed her husband, who belonged to the same political party.

With our correspondent in Islamabad,  Joël Bronner

It was near midnight in the outskirts of Peshawar when gunmen entered the home of 35-year-old Najma Hanif and shot her dead with a gun and a silencer. Two years ago, her husband and son were killed in a suicide attack by the Taliban. Like her husband, Najma belonged to the ANP, the Awami National Party, a member of the coalition that ruled Pakistan from 2008 until this year’s elections.

This political group is notably known for its hostile positions against the Taliban and for its support for military operations against the insurgents in tribal areas. This is why the confrontation between the Pakistani Taliban and the ANP has been merciless for the past five years. In the end, nearly 800 secular party activists were killed. Recently, the attacks against them had been redoubled in particular during the electoral campaign.

For two months, the ANP has not been part of the government any more than it still heads the conservative region of Peshawar. But despite the weakening of its political influence, the targeted attacks on its members do not seem to stop.