ISLAMABAD: Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior, Rehman Malik Thursday warned of threats of terrorist attack during long march and asked political leadership not to expose themselves to these threats. “We have intelligence reports that terrorist and enemies of the country may benefit from this situation and there can be act of terrorism and target killing,” he said in a statement in the Senate.
The Advisor informed that he had written to Punjab government for maximum security for Sharif brothers and read out contents of the letter on the floor of the House.“Given the prevalent security situation in the country and keeping in view intensive public exposure of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, former Chief Minister of Punjab, it has become extremely imperative to ensure fool proof security of the two leaders,” he said quoting the language of the letter.
“Needless to emphasize that political leadership of the country remains under perpetual threat of terrorist attacks which warrants for safe security arrangements to avert any such untoward occurrence,” Malik said.
He further stated all provincial governments are urged to ensure foolproof security for Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Giving details, he said, besides all conceivable security measures, Sharif brothers should be ensured provision of a bullet proof vehicle, box formation escort during their movement ensuring that the dignitaries vehicle is covered by escort vehicles on all the four sides, provision of bullet proof rostrum during address, jammers in working condition must always accompany the two leaders and intensive and elaborate, security arrangements at the place of public meeting, residence and during movement for their safety.
He said since safety and security of the political leadership is provincial responsibility, it is expected that respective provincial governments would leave no stone unturned to ensure safety of the two PML (N) leaders.
He said security agencies have also been directed that any information regarding threat to Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif should promptly be shared with the Provincial government under intimation to the Ministry of Interior.
Recalling the past, Malik mentioned to the reconciliation process that had started from London and culminated on Charter of Democracy and said, it was a great effort for restoration of democracy in the country.
He said a Magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the arrest and raid on the house of Senator Raja Zafarul Haq as it was conducted despite categorical instruction that no members of the Parliament would be arrested or detained.
“I immediately took action after receiving the information about raids on Raja Zafarul Haq and Zafar Ali Shah’s houses,” he informed the House and said, report on these incidents would be presented to the House.
The Advisor said, “we do not want to stop long march but we and lawyers differ on its modalities. A committee of officers was constituted to take up the matter with lawyers about the venue. But, they insisted to protest on Constitution Avenue.”
Malik said, the government has given an undertaking to diplomatic community that Constitution Avenue will not be used for long march and sit-in.
“Country is already facing terrorism challenge. In this situation what message we want to convey to international community and investors by ransacking the capital,” he said.
Malik said he had offered different venues to lawyers like one in G-11 and other near Aabpara, but they refused. “I had also proposed them to select five to ten members from each community and stage sit-in and hand over memorandum.”
He said number of people from business community, civil society and the Chamber have repeatedly asked me to stop them from long marching and staging sit-in in the capital.
He said he had requested to the Speaker the other day to constitute a House committee to sort out modalities with the lawyers for long march and sit-in and I request it to the Chairman also.
“We have told them that protest is their right but we will not allow disturbance and taking law into their hands. Peace is very important for the country and we should not repeat follies of the past,” he added.
He paid tribute to late Benazir Bhutto, President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani for struggle to restore democracy and said, even after the court decision, President Zardari sent messages for reconciliation through Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Asfandyar Wali but to no avail.
He said all parties are patriotic and he calls upon them to seek a solution to the prevailing situation and promote harmony. He urged to strengthen institutions to defeat terrorism and said, “we need to set good examples. We need to be united and let us go towards consensus than to polarization.”