Awami National Party (ANP) candidate Haroon Bilour was killed in the late Tuesday blast in the northwestern city of Peshawar. His father, senior ANP leader Bashir Bilour, was killed in a suicide bombing in late 2012, in the run-up to Pakistan’s last election.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the Tuesday attack.
“The death toll from last night’s suicide attack has reached 20 while we have 65 injured, some of them in critical condition,” Zulfiqar Ali Babakhel, a spokesman for Peshawar’s main Lady Reading Hospital, told Reuters.
The ANP is a predominantly secular, ethnic Pashtun nationalist party, which has long competed with Islamic parties for votes in Pakistan’s volatile Pashtun lands, along the border with Afghanistan.
Militants have attacked the party numerous times over the years, including in the run-up to the last election, in 2013
The Pakistani Taliban, a loosely aligned umbrella group of several militant and sectarian bands, have been waging a war against the Pakistani state for over a decade, condemned the party in its claim of responsibility.
Overall, violence in Pakistan has decreased in recent years after several military offensives against militant strongholds in the northwest.
But many militants have escaped into neighboring Afghanistan, from where Islamabad says they launch attacks back into Pakistan.