ISLAMABAD: The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) has disclosed that almost all the leading politicians, belonging to almost all mainstream political parties, are facing serious security threats in the backdrop of the July 25 general election.
Briefing the Senate Committee on Interior, Nacta officials revealed that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, the Awami National Party’s (ANP) Afsandyar Wali, the Qaumi Watan Party’s (QWP) Aftab Sherpao and leadership of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are under threat.
The other politicians who are facing security threats include the Khyber Pakhtunkwa (K-P) former chief ministers Akram Durrani and Ameer Haider Hoti. Durrani belongs to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam while Hoti belongs to the ANP.
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Talha Saeed, a son of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed who is contesting election on the platform of the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek, is also named among those facing threats.
Expressing grave concerns over the threats, the committee chairman Rehman Malik directed the Interior Ministry to provide foolproof security to the party heads and those for whom threat alerts are issued.
He directed the Ministry of Interior to share with the committee the security measures and plans about security of heads of political parties, voters, candidates, polling vicinities and for the foolproof protections of the politicians for whom security threat alerts have been issued.
Malik said the committee is concerned about escalating threats to the political leadership of the country, adding that ensuring their security is responsibility of the federal and provincial governments.
The committee was given detailed briefings by DIG South Karachi about a stone-pelting incident during the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari rally in Karachi’s Lyari area and the threat alert with regard to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Headquarters.
He expressed dissatisfaction over police report on the incident and directed the Sindh IGP to submit a comprehensive report in the next meeting, also to be attended by a PPP representative. He said stone-pelting in Lyari showed that there were serious security lapses which could not be ignored.
NACTA shares terror threats ahead of elections
The panel also discussed and took serious notice of the Cholistan incident in which three little sisters – aged 6, 8 and 11 years – died while crossing the desert. Parents of the little girls attended the meeting and briefed it about the tragedy that happened on June 13.
The Punjab Police representative could not brief the committee as they lacked basic knowledge about the incident and had no information about the cause of death as reported in the post-mortem.
The committee took notice of the fact that Pakistan has been placed on the grey-list by the Financial Action Task Forces (FATF) and called it a result of the working of the Indian lobby.
Malik also moved a resolution which was passed by the committee appreciating role and commitment of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for free and fair polls.
Briefing at Interior Ministry
Earlier, Nacta chief Dr Suleman Khan also briefed the Interior Minister Azam Khan about possible terror attacks during election campaign and matters related to terrorism preventive measures.
The meeting was also briefed by the Election Commission of Pakistan on security and safety measures and all provincial home departments presented their planned preventive measures. Senior police officials and other law enforcing agencies apprised the interior minister and participants of the meeting on various security measures.
Meanwhile, NACTA in its comprehensive presentation informed about threat alerts issued to the relevant authorities about possible terrorist incidents during the elections, targeting some political leaders and also suggested prevention of such terrorist attacks.