ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday exempted the Intelligence Bureau (IB) from ban on recruitments, keeping in view the sensitive nature of its job and urgency of current security situation. The PM announced this decision during his visit to Intelligence Bureau Headquarters, Islamabad. The ministers of interior, finance and information & broadcasting also attended the briefing.

Nawaz Sharif was briefed in length on issues of national and external security in detail. He was also briefed on counter-terrorism initiatives and activities of the organisation. The PM also approved different proposals and recommendations to build the capacity of the organisation through better human resource intake and procurement of state-of-the-art equipment.

Separately, Special Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Islamabad Friday sent Akhtar, an accused who allegedly supplied arms to Sikander, main accused of Islamabad firing incident, to jail on 14 days judicial remand. Capital police produced the accused Akhtar before the ATC judge Atiq-ur-Rehman and requested the court to send him to jail on judicial remand. In the application, police stated that they had completed investigations from the accused and did not need his further physical custody. Therefore, they requested the court to send the accused to jail on judicial remand.

Acceding to police plea, the judge sent the accused to jail on 14 days judicial remand.

During interrogation, Sikander had disclosed to have bought weapons from Akhtar in Pasrur. It is pertinent to mention here that Malik Sikander along with his wife held Federal Capital hostage for hours during the last week. The accused armed with two assault rifles, AK-47 and a latest submachine gun (SMG), started firing at Jinnah Avenue.

The standoff finally came to an end after Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Zamurd Khan tried to capture him. During this scuffle, forces opened fire and injured Sikander who is currently admitted in PIMS while his wife Kanwal is in physical custody of police for seven days.

PIA OFFICIAL CAUGHT WITH DRUGS: The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) seized 7.5-kg heroin and arrested six smugglers including the officer of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and two British citizens of Pakistani origin during a successful operation launched near Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport (BBIIAP) on Friday.

The force also seized two vehicles. The names of the detainees have been kept secret by the ANF in a bid to track down more smugglers, told an ANF high-up on condition of anonymity.

According to details, ANF received information that a PIA official Farid Moeen was involved in drugs smuggling and the authority kept a watch on him. Later, the surveillance ultimately resulted in an operation near BBIIAP in which ANF stopped two cars and recovered 7.5-kg fine quality heroin, ANF officials said. They told that the six smugglers including a lady, two British of Pakistani origin and a PIA officer have also been nabbed. Further investigation is under process and a case has been registered under CNS act by ANF Police Station Rawalpindi, they informed.  On the other hand, Director General ANF paid a visit to BBIIAP in connection with working of ANF and other LEAs in their common aim of thwarting out the menace of narcotics smuggling at strategic level. The DG appreciated the efforts of ANF, Pakistan Customs and ASF against drug trafficking and stressed for taking further concrete steps to fight out the drugs spread within and outside the country.