ISLAMABAD – Top political leaders of the country are under serious life threat , Caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib disclosed on Saturday after a meeting with Director General Military Operations (DGMO).
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, PTI Chairman Imran Khan and some other top leaders are under serious threat and special security plan has been chalked out in this regard, the minister told the media, without specifying the source of the threat .
“If something happens to them, it can affect the whole electoral process,” he said, adding that the interim government would take all possible measures and provide security cover to all high profile political leaders irrespective of their political association.
The minister said, in the meeting with DGMO, he stressed the need for intelligence sharing at grassroots level to avoid any unhappy incident. He said it was decided that the army would be ready as a quick response force in sensitive areas of the country during the elections. The DG Military Operations also gave assurance of full support to the civil administration in this regard, he added.
Malik Habib said that the government could deploy the army at the polling stations on the demand of ECP, but their deployment at every polling station was a non-professional approach. “If any incident happened on polling stations it would create a negative image of the army,” he said.
However, he said the army could be deployed at Hazara Town in Quetta and sensitive areas of Karachi. Habib said he would visit all the provinces to finalise the contingency plan and in this regard he would visit Balochistan next week. To a question, the minister said that the list of sensitive polling stations had still not been received from the Election Commission.
“It is priority of interim government to hold free, fair and timely elections,” he said, adding that “display of weapons will not be allowed during general elections except in specific areas of KPK where people faced security threats,” but in those areas too, no one would be allowed to carry arms at the polling stations.
To a question, the minister said that the demand of politicians to delay elections was their personal opinion. About delay in the issuance of passports, he said the ministry would assign an honest officer to investigate this matter. The meeting was also attended by the chief secretaries and inspector generals of police from all provinces and representatives of ECP and law and enforcement agencies.