According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police, a preliminary investigation indicates that the suicide attack on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) workers’ convention in Bajaur was carried out by the terrorist group Daesh. At the rally on Sunday in the former tribal region, which borders Afghanistan, a suicide bomber detonated explosives, killing at least 43 people and injuring over 130 others. According to District Police Officer (DPO) Nazir Khan, an emergency was declared in the hospitals in Bajaur and the surrounding areas where the majority of the injured were taken. Military helicopters flew the seriously injured from Bajaur to Peshawar hospitals. “We are still investigating and gathering information on the Bajaur blast. The Initial probe shows that banned outfit Daesh was involved,” the law enforcers said. The police added they were gathering details about the suicide bomber, while the bomb disposal squad team was collecting evidence from the site. “CTD personnel are busy in collecting other evidence.” Three suspects, according to DPO Khan, have been detained. Since the end of a ceasefire between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Islamabad last year, extremist attacks in Pakistan have increased. More than 100 people were killed earlier this year in a Peshawar mosque bombing. According to a recent UN Security Council report, the TTP may be looking to merge with Al Qaeda to form a single organisation that would house all militant organisations active in South Asia. Although cross-border militancy persists, Pakistan has long held Afghanistan responsible for failing to uphold its promise to ensure that its soil was not used for terrorism in Islamabad. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman demanded that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and KP Caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan investigate the incident. The targeted party is a key ally of PM Shehbaz’s coalition government, which is preparing for national elections in November. The blast was condemned by Prime Minister Shehbaz as an attack on Pakistan’s democratic process. He vowed that those responsible would be punished. The top brass of the Pakistan Army recently stated that the safe havens and freedom of action available to terrorists of the proscribed TTP and other groups of that ilk in Afghanistan is one of the major factors affecting Pakistan’s security. Terrorist activity in Pakistan increased by 79% in the first half of 2023, according to a statistical report released by the independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS).