PMLN Leader Amir Muqam Survives 'Terror Attack' In Shangla

PMLN Leader Amir Muqam Survives 'Terror Attack' In Shangla
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN), Amir Muqam survived a purported terror attack today (Saturday) in his home constituency of Shangla, in KP's Malakand region. Muqam is also an adviser to prime minister Shehbaz Sharif who has condemned the incident.

According to locals and police, Amir Muqam's convoy was passing through the area of Martung when some "suspicious people" were spotted by the roadside.

"There was aerial firing, but no loss of life has been reported as yet," a source said.

Muqam has also confirmed that he is safe, and that he has departed for Islamabad after inaugurating a NADRA registration centre in Shangla.

Police units, led by district police officer (DPO) Shangla, along with other security forces, cordoned off the area and commenced a search operation to identify and apprehend the suspects.

Meanwhile, the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for attempting to attack Amir Muqam's convoy with a planted mine.

However, the TTP in its statement claimed that the mine failed to detonate. The terror group went on to claim that their militants engaged the trailing police convoy in a gunfight. The events as mentioned in the claim have yet to be independently verified, as official sources purport that the intended terror attack was "foiled" and no such firefight or engagement occurred.

Analysts note that the TTP in a statement issued in March this year had vowed not to target or attack any political parties. However, the TTP maintains that its mission is to impose Shariah in Pakistan, while it claimed responsibility for bombing a police mosque during Friday congregational prayers in Peshawar in January this year, causing over a hundred casualties.

Pakistani national security experts are concerned that the TTP has increased the momentum of its attacks in Pakistan since the Fall of Kabul in August 2021, when a supposedly pro-Pakistan regime took control of Afghanistan. Independent analysts point to the futility of Pakistan's engagement with the Afghan Taliban, the de-facto Afghan government since 2021 who are suspected of have deep symbiotic ties with the TTP (often called the Pakistani Taliban).

Shehbaz condemns attack

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif strongly condemned the terror attack on Amir Muqam, and expressed his gratitude to Allah as there was no loss of life. The premier noted that Amir Muqam had survived a suicide bombing in the same area in 2014, which resulted in the martyrdom of eight people.

Earlier this year, Pakistan's national security committee (NSC) vowed to pursue a "zero tolerance policy" for terrorism.