PESHAWAR: Caretaker Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa retired Justice Dost Mohammad Khan on Wednesday ordered the relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators, handlers and facilitators of the Yakatoot suicide attack to justice without delay.

He also said the incident could have been averted simply by plugging the two ends of the street, where it occurred, and that the police should act more vigilantly ahead of the July 25 elections.

“The suicide attack exposed the loopholes in security shield and therefore, extra security measures should be taken to cover the vulnerability of certain areas. The focus should be on prevention without compromising security. Threat evaluation should be done meticulously,” he told an emergency meeting of the provincial cabinet and administration at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat here.

Forms JIT to probe Peshawar blast

Ministers Asadullah Khan Chamkani, Abdur Rauf Khattak, Zafar Iqbal Bangash, Anwarul Haq and Mohammad Rashid, provincial chief secretary, police chief and administrative secretaries attended the meeting.

The participants were briefed about the initial details of the suicide blast and information collected from the crime scene.

The chief minister formed a seven-member joint investigation team to look into the act of terrorism.

He also set up a sub-committee of the cabinet to be headed by himself to review and evaluate the reports of the JIT twice a week.

Retired Justice Dost said the government would go all-out to bring the blast perpetrators to justice.

“It is very much necessary to investigate and bring to limelight the actual motives behind the suicide attack as the government wants peaceful, free and impartial elections and is busy to take all required steps for it,” he said.

He ordered enhanced security for the leadership and candidates of all political parties.

The chief minister unveiled a plan for effective security mechanism including constant surveillance and monitoring, new method of investigation, enhanced coordination and intelligence gathering and sharing.

He ordered the monitoring of all entry routes to the province both frequented and unfrequented.

“The incident has raised few questions about the present level of security and what is required to have a considerably improved security environment in the changed environment.

The enemy is invisible; the situation is challenging, and the existing security shield lacks the required level of strength and durability that necessitate extra ordinary security arrangements,” he said.

Retired Justice Dost reminded the law-enforcement agencies of his previous orders for the reinforcement, relocation and redeployment of personnel for the peaceful conduct elections in the province.

“The enemy of the country wants to terrify people into submission. They want to go for soft targets to sabotage elections but they would never succeed,” he said.

He said the caretaker government had a limited mandate for transparent, free and fair elections and it had to provide a basis of it.

The chief minister asked the leadership of political parties to cooperate with the caretaker government to avert threats to transparent, fair and free elections.

The meeting decided on steps for better security in the province.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018