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Unknown assailants attack PM’s motorcade; President condemns

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ISLAMABAD: Unknown assailants attacked the motorcade of Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on the Islamabad Highway on Wednesday.Of the multiple sniper shots fired on the Prime Minister’s vehicle, two hit the window on the driver side. However, because of the robust and comprehensive security measures, the Prime Minister and all the member of his motorcade remained unharmed. Sources said Gilani was immediately shifted to another car and driven to Prime Minister House in Islamabad. Chaklala Police claimed it had arrested three people before iftar but did not disclose their identity.

Taleban claimed responsibility for the attack days ahead of a presidential election, which is bound to compound the fears of investors and allies, who worry about chronic political instability and violence in the nuclear-armed country. A Pakistani Taleban spokesman said Gilani was attacked because he was responsible for offensives against militants in the northwest. “We will continue such attacks on government officials and installations,” said Taleban spokesman Muslim Khan. Pakistani Taleban and their Al-Qaeda allies have unleashed a wave of bomb attacks, including some on political leaders such as Bhutto over the past year.

High-level inquiry has been initiated into the matter and all the law enforcement agencies are collaborating to work on the case and apprehend the culprits. Experts are reviewing the security arrangements and lapses for further augmentation, if required.

Federal minister for information told that the Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani is completely safe and is busy in his regular work. It may be recalled that the prime minister was returning to Islamabad today after completing his visit of Lahore when his motorcade was attacked at a place near to Chaklala Airport. Security of the prime minister has been put on high alert after the incident.

President Muhammadmian Soomro on Wednesday strongly condemned the firing on Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani’s motorcade. The President prayed for health and long life of the Prime Minister. The President also called for a thorough investigation into the matter to ascertain the facts and to nab those responsible for the incident.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior A Rehman Malik has directed the Inspector General of Police Punjab to investigate into the firing incident on the motorcade of Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani. Meanwhile, he had constituted an investigation team headed by Director General National Police Bureau (NPB) Tariq Khosa and directed it to submit the report within 24 hours.

The Advisor said that it was a very serious incident and the perpetrators of this act would be booked and dealt with iron hands. Meanwhile, the police apprehended more than three persons from the scene of incident and further investigation is underway. The Prime Minister’s motorcade was on its way from Chaklala Air Base to the PM House when some unknown persons opened fire on.-SANA

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Azhar Masoodhttp://
Azhar Masood is Controller of News in PTV, and Chief Instructor of PTV Academy, working for Arab News. He has Covered Iraq War from Baghdad for CNN, BBC, FOX News, and Al-Jazeera and other regional channels. He covered conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina. He interviewed Yasir Arafat of Palestine, Paul Wolfoweit, Prime Minister Jean Ghteyan of Canada, Dr. Amar Musa of Egypt, Mr. Haris Slajic, Prime Minister of Bosnia Dr. Akbar Ali Vallayati, former Foreign Minister of Iran, President Kumaratunge of Sri Lanka, Mr. Kumar Su Bramanyem, Director of National Defence Institute of India, Mr. Hamid Karzai President of Afghanistan, Dr. Ahmad Chalabi of Iraq National Congress, Mr. Hoshyar Zubari, Vice President Kurdish Democratic Party of Iraq
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