ISLAMABAD: The government Tuesday claimed to have arrested eight suspects from Mianwali and Sargodha for their alleged involvement in suicide attacks in Rawalpindi and Sargodha. Briefing newsmen here on Tuesday, the Interior Ministry Spokesman Brig. (Retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema said that law enforcement agencies have arrested eight persons from Mianwali and Sargodha who are involved in suicide attacks in Rawalpindi and Sargodha. Further investigation is going on, he added.
Commenting on the investigation process and the role of Scotland Yard into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, he said primary responsibility for investigations into the death of Benazir Bhutto rests with our own investigators and the Scotland Yard team is here to assist our investigators. He said there is no pressure on Scotland Yard team and they are working freely and independently. He said there is some misunderstanding after the departure of six members of the Scotland Yard team from Pakistan. In fact six experts in the field of explosive and graphics who left Pakistan had finished their job, he informed. He said the number of investigators would keep increasing or decreasing according to the needs and requirements of investigations.
He said the government is not asking Scotland Yard team to share their investigation at each stage. He said when they reach to a conclusion; they will share with us and the media. To a question, he said, if required by the investigators, the family of Benazir Bhutto will be requested for autopsy. The spokesman said that government has issued security advisory for political leaders to ensure their safety and security. Government, he said, would provide adequate security to the political leaders but it is also incumbent upon them to play their role in taking necessary steps to ensure their own safety.
According to guidelines in the security advisory, the political leaders have been asked to maintain close liaison with provincial Home Departments and local police through nominated focal point. They have been told to give due weigh to security advise rendered by local police chief, keep provincial administration and police informed of travel plans, avoid unnecessary public exposure, keep travel plans flexible and unpredictable, plan and use different routes for traveling.
The guidelines said security clearance of personal guards and employees through local police should be ensured, gatherings, corner meetings may be used as preferred mode of electioneering and big rallies should be avoided as far as possible, however there is no ban on big rallies. Political leaders asked to avoid unnecessary exposure during slow movement of vehicles, unidentified persons should not be allowed to get closer to the leader and personal guards, party workers detailed for security duty should be issued with security passes for recognition by local police.
To a question, the Interior Minister spokesman said Mian Nawaz Sharif is also using bullet proof and bomb proof vehicles as was being used by Benazir Bhutto. He said he is getting same security as other former Prime Ministers are getting. Replying to another question, he said general elections will be held on time on February 18 and the government was making efforts for holding polls in free, transparent and peaceful atmosphere.
The spokesman said foolproof security arrangements are in place throughout the country to ensure peaceful religious rites during the sacred month of Muhammad. He said all resources including troops and rangers have been mobilized to assist the law enforcing agencies for round the clock vigilance around religious places to thwart any attempt by subversive and terrorist elements to disturb peace and order. Brig Cheema said that most of the area in Swat has been cleared of the militants and they are hold up into a particular area. He said security forces are surrounding the militants and hoped that situation in Swat would be brought under control soon.-SANA