ISLAMABAD - Former interior minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday asked the government to close the Pak-Afghan border on the peak mourning days of Muharram.

The proposal comes as scores of militants have allegedly taken refuge on the Afghanistan side of the border. Several cross-border attacks have occurred since the military operation against the extremists in the tribal belt.

Officially Afghanistan denies protecting the militants but the porous border is prone to infiltration and violations.

Senator Rehman Malik advised the government to order the closure of Pakistan-Afghanistan border for 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of Muharram for all kinds of movement across the border as Mullah Fazalullah was allegedly hiding in Afghanistan and had claimed responsibility for many terror attacks in Pakistan.

He demanded of the federal and provincial governments to take extraordinary measures for peaceful Muharram. He expressed the concern that terrorists could attack processions in the upcoming days.

In a statement, Senator Malik, who is the Chairman Senate Body on Interior, also has appealed the federal and provincial governments to enhance the security of hyper-sensitive cities like Quetta, Peshawar, Hangu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Parachinar, Lahore and Karachi.

He said the government must direct for the deployment of army along with Police, Rangers and the Frontier Constabulary (FC) to ensure peace in Muharram by providing foolproof security to the processions and religious gatherings in Imambargahs and other places.

He strongly condemned the brutal attack of terrorists on the Saryab Road in Quetta that killed and wounded civilians. “No words are strong enough to condemn the cruelty and brutality of these terrorists,” he added.