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Foreigners fear militant attacks
 
 
 

ISLAMABAD - Monday was supposed to be a busy day for management and staff of Gloria Jeans coffee shop situated in Kohsar Market of posh sector of F-6, a very common place especially for foreign nationals living the city.
Putting on neat and clean unique uniform, the waiters and the management both expected great influx of customers on Monday as usual, however, only a marginal number of their foreign customers could visit the shop on Monday. And those, who visited, spent little time at the coffee shop.
"It was surprising to see only a small chunk of foreign customers visited us today while those who visited seemed in a great hurry," a waiter of the coffee shop told this scribe requesting not to be named. Same was the condition when it comes to other cafés and restaurants which usually fetch a great number of foreign nationals customers (living in Islamabad) round the week.
The absence of foreign customers irked management of these cafés and restaurants on Monday. Only reason for keeping the foreigners away from markets and restaurants was stated to be the fresh warning from militants who have warned them to leave Pakistan immediately or face the consequences.
"Wind up operations from Pakistan and stop doing businesses with Pakistani government. Get ready to face the music otherwise," Shahidullah Shahid, spokesperson for Pakistan Taliban which has been giving tough time to Pakistani government and army over the years, said on Monday.
A wave of fear has been felt among the foreigners currently residing in Pakistan, especially in Islamabad for their businesses engagements. A number of airlines including Turkish Airline, Emirates airline and others are currently operating in Pakistan. Besides, a large numbers of foreign nationals are working for foreign missions and residing in Pakistan's big cities including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. 
The Pakistani government has beefed up security in the big cities before launching ground offensives against Taliban. Army troops were called in to assist police and rangers in big cities.
"Security has been put on high alert across the country. Pak army is given the charge to safeguard sensitive installation situated across country," A spokesperson of Interior Ministry said Monday.
"It's good for all including Pakistan itself if Pakistan army takes action against Taliban seriously," a western diplomat based in Pakistan said.
However, Pakistan's Prime Minister made it loud and clear on Monday that the operation would last until single terrorist is eliminated in Pakistan.

 
 
on epaper page 13
 
 
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