An explosion at Islamist political rally killed atleast 44 people in Pakistan

An explosion that occurred in Pakistan at the time of a demonstration organized by an Islamist party has claimed the lives of at least 44 people.

The explosion in the north-west Bajaur area, occurred at the same time as a meeting of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), resulting in the injuries of more than one hundred individuals.

According to the sources, the police have discovered evidence suggesting that the detonation may have been the result of a suicide attack.

The police mentioned that the search and rescue operation has concluded, and all injured parties have been transported to medical facilities.

Officials are concerned that the number of fatalities may continue to rise, as there are presently 15 people in a critical condition.

It is now unclear what motivated those responsible for the act. A cordon has been placed around the area by the security services, and an inquiry into the explosion is currently going on.

On Sunday, the JUI-F workers' convention was held in the town of Khar in the Pakistani tribal region of Bajaur, which is located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, close to the border with Afghanistan. Many people attended the event.

When the explosion occurred in close proximity to the stage, photographs showed hundreds of people gathered underneath a canopy.

According to the testimony of one eyewitness, the tent suddenly collapsed, trapping those who were frantically trying to escape.

Images of injured persons being transported to a hospital by ambulances have been shown on local television, and the police have stated that those with significant injuries have been transported by military helicopters to Peshawar, which is located close, for immediate medical treatment.

At the regional hospital, the authorities have declared a state of public health emergency. Some seriously hurt patients have been forced to wait in the corridors of health centers that are straining to treat the large number of patients who have been injured.

According to local officials and reports, the explosion resulted in the death of a regional leader of the JUI-F named Maulana Ziaullah.

The JUI-F is a prominent religious political organization in Pakistan and a member of the country's governing coalition in the parliament.

Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, condemned the perpetrators of the attack, referring to them as terrorists and stating that they "targeted those who speak for Islam, the Quran, and Pakistan." He added that those responsible would face "real punishment" for their actions.

The Prime Minister issued a statement in which he declared, "Terrorists are Pakistan's enemies, and we will eradicate them from existence."

The JUI-F took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the political meeting to rally its support in anticipation of an election expected later this year. While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, the local branch of Islamic State (IS) in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in Bajaur this year and has previously claimed to have targeted JUI-F.

In June, militants claimed responsibility for the murder of a party official in the village of Inayat Killi.

IS made the claim on behalf of its "Khorasan Province" (ISKP) branch, which operates in Afghanistan and north-west Pakistan. The group also claimed responsibility for attacks in Pakistan through its "Pakistan Province" branch.