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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior on Wednesday again requested the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) top leadership to postpone its public gatherings for the “Haqeeqi Azadi March” in view of threats to the life of PTI Chief Imran Khan and the prevailing security situation in the country.

A letter, addressed to the PTI Secretary General Asad Umar, stated that the Interior Ministry has been sharing threat alerts generated by credible intelligence sources to the life of Imran Khan by anti-state elements to destabilise the country. The letter also mentioned the recent attack on Imran Khan by an armed assailant at Wazirabad.

The letter said that the federal government has already provided a bullet-proof vehicle and deployed police and civil armed forces during his stay in the Islamabad Capital Territory. However, presently, Imran Khan is stationed in Lahore and participants of the long march have travelled to Rawat, which is very close to Rawalpindi.

It is expected that the Punjab government would be taking all measures for security arrangements not only for the PTI Chief but also for participants of the march as anti-state elements like Al-Qaeda, Daesh, TTP and radicalised youth of TLP can take advantage of soft targets such as public gatherings to destabilise the country through suicide attacks and improvised explosive devices.

The Interior Ministry has formally conveyed to the concerned quarters the threat to the life of Imran Khan and the general public.

The ministry requested that the security situation “prevailing in the country may be kept in view and the PTI leadership may consider the possibility of postponing public gatherings like the one planned in Rawalpindi on November 26 to avoid any untoward incident”.

The Ministry of Interior maintained that it had been “sharing threat alerts generated by credible intelligence sources to the life” of PTI chief Imran Khan by “anti-state elements” that wanted to destabilise the country.

It further stated that the attack in Wazirabad, where former premier Imran Khan was injured, had highlighted the importance of taking the threat alerts seriously, “particularly, in the context of the resumption of the march and its culmination in Rawalpindi”.

The ministry’s notice to Asad Umar stated that “in view of the gravity of the security threat, the need to exercise maximum caution can hardly be overemphasized”.

It regretted; however, that despite repeated requests cautioning the party about the threats “and in the context of the protest in Rawalpindi on November 26 in particular”, the party leadership seemed “oblivious” to the security situation.

The ministry further informed Umar that the latest intelligence report was shared with provincial governments.

It urged the PTI to keep the security situation in view and consider postponing the rally in Rawalpindi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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