LAHORE, Jan 10: The Punjab government while pledging security for Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march highlighted serious threats to his person and the possibility of sabotage by ‘the elements desirous of delaying general election’.
The government, however, clarified that security of such a public event could not be ensured without the cooperation of the long march organisers.
The security pledge and the government’s concern has been communicated to Dr Qadri through a letter by the provincial home secretary in reply to an earlier letter written by the Minhajul Quran leader to the Punjab chief minister, enlisting details of security measures to be taken for the long march.
In his official reply, the home secretary informed Dr Qadri on Thursday that security personnel, including 32 policemen, 12 elite force men and vehicles, along with Punjab Rangers personnel, had been assigned the task of his security and protection against any threat.
The letter pointed out that there were serious threats to the person of Dr Qadri and the long march participants.
The 280-km long route, on GT Road, passed through populous cities and towns, further enhancing vulnerability of the long march participants to any sabotage bid and making them a soft target for terrorists, the letter points out.
It says the possibility of sabotage by terrorists and elements desirous of delaying upcoming elections to fulfill their nefarious designs could not be ruled out and provision of foolproof security to thousands of long march participants by the law enforcement agencies, was difficult and not possible without cooperation and support of the event organisers.
The home secretary requested Dr Qadri that he should direct the organisers at all levels, locations, venues and routes, to contact respective district administration forthwith to finalise arrangements, security clearance, search and sweeping, police deployment, alternative traffic arrangements, and allied matters, including lists of volunteers for security duties.
Coordination at the provincial level may be undertaken through DIG (Operations) Sohail Khan at the Punjab IG office, the letter adds.