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ISI informs govt of possible terrorist attack in red zone: interior minister

Nisar says next 24 to 48 hours to be crucial

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhry Nisar Ali on Friday informed leadership and participants of the ‘Azadi March’ and the ‘Inqilab March’ that they would not be allowed to move forward from their current position as containers have been placed to protect state institutions from any act of terrorism.


Addressing a press conference at the Punjab House here, the interior minister said that a very senior official of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has informed him that there was a threat of an explosive laden vehicle and two terrorists have left Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for attacks in the red zone.


He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) were allowed to move upto the red zone despite pressures on him and the situation remained satisfactory due to efforts of the police, FC, rangers and the army. He said that some 30,000 security personnel would not allow the participants of the sit-ins to more forward from their present place.


The minister said that due to sit-ins, leaving aside the emergency services, judges of the Supreme Court were also facing difficulties. He said two judges of the apex court were late by 30 minutes on Friday and work in the cabinet blocks and the Cabinet Division was obstructed. Also due to the demonstrations, two heads of the state have postponed their visit to Islamabad, stock exchange was nose diving, dollar has crossed Rs 101 mark, traders and all political parties were opposed to the sit-in.


Nisar said that no one would be allowed to remove or cross the containers where they were now because by doing so they would be attacking the house of someone and laws allow its defence. He said the state of Pakistan was not so weak and the responsibility of any bloodshed would be on those attackers and not on those who would be defending.


He said that the attack on state institutions was not democracy by making shield of women and children. He said that the next 24 to 48 hours would be crucial and this should not be made a political issue. He also rejected the allegations that supporters of the PTI were being prevented from attending the sit-in and said not a single person has been arrested and no one was being stopped.


The minister pointed out that there have been music and dance parties in the PTI sit-in. He said if Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri give in writing that they would be responsible for any terrorist act, he was ready to remove some of the containers. He said that he would be sending interior secretary and police officers to the two leaders to get their signed assurances.


He made it clear that if law was violated at check posts, containers were removed and policemen attacked, the law would take its course and they would defend these acts. Nisar appreciated the decision of PTI for dialogue and said that the government was ready for meaningful dialogue.


He said there would be no restriction from the government over supply of water and food to the participants but he has stopped the supply of water by the government because allegations were leveled that they had polluted them with some chemicals. He rejected the speculation that the inspector general of the Islamabad Police was removed for refusing some orders and said he himself had applied for leave which was granted.


 

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