LAHORE - The Punjab government has released Rs 61.5 million to ensure foolproof security at prime minister’s residence at Jati Umra.
The police fear that the militants in the guise of protesters may attack the official residence of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif situated at Raiwind.
Sources in the Punjab government disclosed on Tuesday that last month a summary was moved by the Inspector General of Punjab Police to the home department about the security threats to the prime minster in the wake of ongoing terrorism in the country. The operation near Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s home in Raiwind that killed two militants and overran their hideout was another factor that prompted the security agencies to bolster security arrangements at the PM’s Lahore residence.
The summary said that the current security arrangements at the PM’s residence at Jati Umra were not foolproof so there was a need to release more money under the head of secret fund account so that police could utilize it to purchase new equipment.
The chief minister’s office approved the summary and the finance department has released the funds, the source said.
The summary mentioned no details of the instruments or their prices to be purchased for the security purposes at the PM’s residence near Raiwind. An officer of the CM’s Secretariat said that the office did not object the IG’s demand for release of money under secret fund account.
An officer of the Home Department told this correspondent that an amount to the tune of Rs 98 million had also been released to Punjab police in August to deal with the PTI and PAT’s Azadi and Inqlab marches during the last month.
The police, he said, consumed 10 million and surrendered the rest of the amount to the finance department. He said that the Lahore police refunded the money to the provincial pouch as some other officers from other districts had started demanding money under the secret funds account. He said that police might demand the same money by forwarding fresh summary to the CM for other expenses.
A senior police officer said that security arrangements were not sufficient at the PM’s residence so it was decided to purchase modern equipment to be installed with the released amount which would be installed at the premier’s Lahore residence.
Earlier in 2011, the Punjab government had approved a hefty amount of Rs85 million to better the security of the prime minister, the chief minister and their families. Security equipment had been installed at the 189-Y Block, Defence residence of the PM, 180-H Model Town, camp office of CM Punjab, the Sharifs’ 181-H Model Town residence and the CM Secretariats at 7-8 Club Road, GOR-I and 90 Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam.
The police department had installed equipment worth Rs12 million to beef up security at the chief minister’s camp offices in Lahore in the wake of the assassination of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer.