The Pakistani government has enhanced security across the country, especially of the politicians and public rallies ahead of the general elections to be held on July 25, an official said on Friday.
The official seeking anonymity told Xinhua that the government had held several high-level meetings during last week over the security issues in which police, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and intelligence agencies were directed to step up security around prominent political figures, politicians under threat and sensitive installations in all provinces of the country to thwart possible terrorist attacks.
The rallies, processions, demonstrations and public meetings have been banned except those which would be allowed by the concerned authorities and would be held in the secured premises, the official said.
Vigilance has been increased at important places, including airports, railway stations, bus terminals, markets, hospitals, schools, religious places and recreational sites, said the official, adding that police have also been asked to conduct surveys of residential areas, hostels, guest houses and hotels to ensure that no miscreant is hiding.
Pakistan is going to hold general elections for the National Assembly, the lower house of the country’s parliament, and four provincial assemblies on July 25. Following the elections, the National Assembly will elect the country’s new prime minister.
Measures have been taken after a series of terrorist attacks at political rallies earlier this month, which have killed at least 180 people and injured over two hundred.
On July 13, at least 150 people lost their lives and over 150 others sustained injuries in a suicide blast that hit a political rally in Mastung area of the country’s southwest Balochistan province.
Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) has also warned that the country’s key political leaders are facing security threats from extremists during the election period.
“Despite our security and intelligence-based operations against the terrorists, there are still intelligence reports about terrorists planning to conduct attacks during the election campaigns to disturb peace and tranquility and law and order in the country,” NACTA chairman Sulaiman Khan told the Senate last week.
The Pakistani army has already announced to play its due role to support the Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct the election in a peaceful atmosphere by deploying 371,388 security forces and personnel at the 85,300 polling stations across the country to ensure security.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)