Rs 1 billion scanners failed us, says interior minister

* Nisar vows to punish perpetrators of Islamabad blast

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday, vowing to bring the culprits of Islamabad fruit market blast to justice, revealed that the previous government imported two scanners to detect explosives, but they turned out to be a complete failure.Talking to the media at the blast site, Chaudhry Nisar said that previous government had sought to import four scanners, out of which only two were brought to the country, and those too failed to detect explosives.He lamented none of the province had latest technology to avert such tragedies, adding that the scanners were bought for Rs 1 billion, which turned out to be useless.At least 24 people were killed while over 95 others injured in early morning blast at the fruit market. The minister said most of people killed in Wednesday’s blast were poor people who were buying fruits for their daily earning.He said that the poor people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Waziristan and other parts of the country became victim of the fruit market blast.The minister said the government would follow the criminals to the last corner of the country and bring them to justice.He said this act of terrorism was cowardly and against the humanity, as all deceased were innocent and poor people.Nisar told the media that bomb was planted in a fruit crate. He said that manual search of each vehicle, which comes every morning here, was impossible because 200 to 300 vehicles unload fruits and vegetables at the market every day.He said the government was trying to root out terrorism from the country and would take every step to make Islamabad and the rest of the country a safe place to live in.To a query regarding the Taliban’s involvement in the fruit market blast, the minister said that it was premature to say anything before investigation.“I don’t know what are the motives of the terrorists but we will bring them to justice, definitely.” Nisar said that an investigation has been launched to look into the tragic incident.Meanwhile, Nisar chaired a high-level meeting after the fruit market blast on Wednesday and stressed the need for a better and effective coordination among all the departments concerned. Speaking on the minister, he said that the police should be a step ahead of terrorists. He said that due care of all the injured should be taken at the expense of the government. He asked the ICT Administration and the police to identify the potential targets in the capital and work out a comprehensive security plan.The minister directed the ICT to take over the control of I11 wholesale market from the CDA and work out a security plan in consultation with the local business leaders. He said that all its entry and exit points should be properly regulated and surveillance cameras be installed there. He said that the registration of the residents of slums in the capital should immediately be completed and further support be sought from intelligence agencies.Nisar also asked the National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to play a proactive role in evolving a strategy for the protection of the city and ensure a better coordination between intelligence and the security agencies. He said that compensations to the injured and relatives of the deceased would be paid within the next three days.Earlier, the chief commissioner and the IG police briefed the minister on the details of the incident. The Interior secretary, Islamabad chief commissioner, deputy commissioner, IG and additional IG attended the meeting. 

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