ISLAMABAD - Security of President Mamnoon Hussain and his family has been increased due to fear of reaction from the Sunni Tehreek seeking clemency of Malik Mumztaz Qadri for his assassination of Punjab’s former governor Salmaan Taseer.

Even though, sources in Aiwan-e-Sadr dismissed the media reports, saying there is nothing of the sort, officials of the interior ministry said that special security has been evolved in view of the situation.

President is expected to give his decision over the mercy petition filed by the Sunni Tehreek on behalf of Mumtaz Qadri but legal wizards in the law ministry believed that in legal terms the mercy petition has to be moved by the assassin himself.

Qadri, a former police commando, assassinated Taseer in Islamabad’s Kohsar Market on January 4, 2011 for his support to a blasphemy accused.

A Anti-Terrorism Court convicted and condemned him to death – a ruling also upheld by the Islamabad High Court and Supreme Court.

A review petition of Qadri was also turned down by the apex court on December 14 last year, leaving him with the last option to file a clemency appeal to the president. Religious parties have threatened nationwide protests if Qadri is hanged.

In view of a possible backlash, the president’s family has been moved from Karachi to the Presidency in Islamabad.

Currently, only the president and the prime minister are provided security under the ‘Blue Category’ – the highest security protocol for anyone in Pakistan. “Despite these heavy protocols, security of the president has been further beefed up as he is about to decide the mercy appeal of Qadri,” sources said.

The president has three sons. The official said last year one of his sons Salman Mamnoon escaped a bomb attack on his convoy in Hub near Karachi. Three people were killed in the attack claimed by a banned separatist group, Baloch Liberation Army.

Security official said that overall security in Islamabad would also be reviewed if Qadri’s mercy plea was rejected by the president. Security situation will be reviewed following the decision.