LAHORE - An exercise has been launched to check afresh background of the persons attached with top political and high public offices for identifying the RAW sleeper cells and counter any threat to the life of high-ranking figures, official sources told The Nation yesterday.

The background check exercise is launched against the backdrop of Punjab Home Department’s threat alert issued on October 9 warning the authorities concerned about RAW plans to make assassination bids on the life of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Jamatud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed and other high-profile personalities through its agents (sleeper cells) in Pakistan.

The Modi-led coalition has provided enormous funds and powers to the RAW for ‘covert operations’ to derail the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and train and finance the Baloch separatists.

Sources said RAW had more than $400 million unaudited funds on its disposal for destabilising Pakistan.

The threat assessments’ of security agencies strongly suggest the infiltration of RAW agents in the ranks of mainstream political parties and high public offices to target top figures of the state, they informed. Official sources when asked that there was a proper security clearance procedure for the persons working at high public offices, said, “Indeed there is a procedure, but keeping in view the gravity of the situation fresh background check was necessary to remove the remotest possibilities of RAW sleepers anywhere near the high-profile figures.”

“The sleepers can hit their targets under the guise of party workers who have access to the offices where mainstream political leadership move. They can be working in any other capacity but which surely provide them an opportunity of close contact with their target,” they explained.

The counter-intelligence operations in Punjab during August and September busted valuable agents of the RAW from the province. Four of the agents were picked up from Green Town Lahore after a month-long ‘catch operation’, the sources revealed.

Publicity material of religious parties and their flags and party cards were recovered from their residence. State of the art computer equipment and other gadgets used for the purpose of electronic information gathering was also recovered from them.

The Indian agents could make assassination attempts on the life of high-profile leaders of religious parties in public meetings. Besides targeting other high public office holders and leaders of other mainstream political parties in a similar modus oprendi, added the sources.