ISLAMABAD: The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) on Monday revealed the names of six personalities, including Imran Khan and Hafiz Saeed’s son, who could be targeted by terrorists during the ongoing election campaign.
“Six people include Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Awami National Party leaders Asfandyar Wali and Ameer Haider Hoti, Qaumi Watan Party head Aftab Sherpao, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Akram Khan Durrani and Hafiz Saeed’s son Talha Saeed. Moreover, there are threats to senior leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz,” Nacta director Obaid Farooq said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Interior.
He said Nacta had forwarded 12 threat alerts to the federal interior and provincial home ministries as well as law enforcement agencies.
Committee chairman Senator Rehman Malik, while expressing grave concern over the threats, directed the interior ministry to provide foolproof security to the heads of parties and those for whom threat alerts were issued.
He said Election Commission of Pakistan Secretary Babar Yaqoob had already informed the committee that there was a possibility of violence during the general elections scheduled for July 25, and directed that such alerts be taken seriously.
Mr Malik suggested to the provincial governments and law enforcement agencies to nominate focal persons to ensure security.
“The incident of pelting PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s rally [in Karachi’s Lyari area] with stones shows that there were serious security lapses which cannot be ignored in the prevailing situation. We will hold an in-camera meeting to get briefing on measures and plans for the security of heads of political parties, voters, candidates, polling vicinities and for foolproof protection of those politicians for whom security threat alerts have been issued,” he said.
Threat to NAB headquarters
Deputy Inspector General of Islamabad police Waqar Ahmed Chohan informed the Senate committee that the National Accountability Bureau chairman had received a threatening letter that the NAB headquarters would be attacked with an explosives-laden vehicle.
“After that we thoroughly checked the building and it was observed that a building of the Islamabad High Court is being built at the rear side of NAB building, due to which there is frequent movement of heavy vehicles. Moreover, boundary wall of the building is not constructed on uniform pattern and is weak at different parts. So we have enhanced the security,” he said.
The DIG added that NAB had also deputed 48 security guards and there were 40 CCTV cameras. Moreover, he said, the NAB building was also being monitored through cameras of the safe city project. “We have also enhanced security for other buildings of NAB in the city and are removing deficiencies,” he added.
Mr Malik said that since NAB was currently in the limelight, there should be arrangements for its foolproof security.
The committee also took serious notice of an incident in Cholistan where three little sisters aged six, eight and 11 were found dead in a desert after being disappeared.
The parents of the children attended the meeting and briefed the committee on the incident that had occurred on June 13.
A representative of the Punjab police failed to brief the committee as he lacked information about the incident and knew nothing about the cause of death mentioned in the post-mortem report.
The committee chairman expressed annoyance over the ignorance of the Punjab police and asked the provincial police chief to ensure his presence at the next meeting.
Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2018