Zardari to travel in bullet proof cars with private bodyguards
By Mubasher Bukhari
LAHORE: Asif Ali Zardari, after the Sindh government refused to provide him protection, has decided to travel in bullet proof vehicles with his own security guards.
Sources close to Mr Zardari said that he was not satisfied with the security arrangements made by Siraj Durrani, his security chief. They said, “Siraj Durrani had appointed amateur Sindhis as his guards.”
After returning to Karachi, Mr Zardari directed Mr Durrani to hire trained guards to accompany him on his travels. They said, “Now, Mr Durrani has hired 14 ex-commandos for his protection,” adding, “Mr Zardari will also have three bullet proof vehicles in his entourage. He has sent two of the vehicles to Islamabad and Lahore while one has been left at Bilawal House.”
Chief Minister Sindh Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim had expressed concern about Mr Zardari’s security. Mr Zardari termed Mr Rahim’s statement to be a threat and asked him to provide police protection, which he refused.
Jehangir Badr, the secretary general of the Pakistan People Party, has written letters to the inspector generals of police Islamabad and Lahore, the interior secretary and the Punjab home secretary requesting security for Mr Zardari’s stay in Punjab.
—will re-organise PPP Punjab
LAHORE: Asif Zardari, the spouse of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto, will re-organise the party’s Punjab chapter. Mr Zardari has called for a meeting of PPP National and Punjab Assembly members on December 16 at Bilawal House, Karachi. Sources close to Mr Zardari said that he believed that the party had many supporters in Punjab but the present leadership was unable to motivate them in the recent elections. They said, “He wants to re-organise the PPP in Punjab before the up coming local bodies elections and may change some PPP Punjab officials after consulting with other leaders.” Mr Zardari will meet the Punjab parliamentarians at Bilawal House, the ticket holders and other officers in Rawalpindi during December and PPP’s activists in Lahore during January. Mr Zardari directed PPP Punjab leaders to get PPP supporters registered immediately because the general elections would be held in 2005. He also directed Jehangir Badr, the secretary general of the PPP, to prepare a list of PPP Punjab activists who had died in the past eight years. Mr Zardari will visit the deceased’s residences. mubasher bukhari