LAHORE - A top civilian intelligence agency has launched an extensive survey of public and private sector buildings in Punjab along with scrutiny of employee record to avert possible terrorist acts, following the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park carnage.

The agency, according to interior ministry sources, is surveying the security measures at hospitals on priority, especially those in the public sector. They are also inspecting universities, hotels, chains of international shopping malls and other public and private sector buildings.

Apart from inspecting the structural and non-structural security scheme of these buildings, the exercise involves through examination of the record of employees with a view to catch possible sleeper units of the banned outfits, the sources said.

“Busting the terrorist sleeper cells is the most difficult job in the fight against an evasive and elusive enemy. The identified targets can be hit through special operations but catching a target with no previous militant or extremist record is really an uphill task,” they said.

“They (terror facilitators) work in all sectors just like other citizens and become activated only when their contacts and handlers ask them to do so in order to facilitate some terror operation. The agencies get to them only after connecting bits and pieces from huge caches of raw information,” they added.

In the surveys, the main emphasis will be on identifying these sleeper cells, which provide inside help to the terror outfits to accomplish their missions, said the interior ministry sources.

It has happened in the recent past that individuals belonging to health and education sectors, businessmen, law enforcers and others were caught operating as sleepers of the banned outfits.

The catch of senior faculty members from two universities of public and private sector, besides a group of doctors from a public sector hospital in the provincial capital are two prominent examples, they added.

As for the structural and systematic security arrangements is concerned, the agency is inspecting the profiles and number of security personnel, working of the CCTV cameras, security arrangements at exit and entry gates, isolated points of the buildings, less-watched sections - which could become soft entry points for the terrorists, height and strength of boundary walls, working of the walk-through gates and metal detectors.

The intelligence service conducting the survey had forwarded an advisory to the province before the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park tragedy with specific warning to the authorities concerned about the ‘very poor’ security arrangements at the major recreational parks. It advised immediate corrective measures to avert possible terror attacks.

However, the provincial government denied receiving any such specific warning.

Another provincial intelligence service had pointed out lapses in the security arrangements at the public places, including the recreational parks, which endorses the claim of the top civilian secret service.