Malik fearful of more attacks
RAWALPINDI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has issued a grim warning — the next three days will be critical and more terrorist attacks may take place in different parts of the country.
Talking to newsmen on Thursday during a visit to the district headquarters hospital to inquire after the health of people injured in Wednesday night’s suicide attack on a Muharram procession in the Dhoke Syedaan area of Rawalpindi, he said: “Intelligence agencies and other law-enforcement agencies have received reports that the terrorists were preparing to hit other sites in the country.”
The terrorists, he said, apparently wanted to sabotage the D-8 summit and terrorist attacks in Karachi and Rawalpindi were part of this conspiracy.
“The miscreants are trying to destabilise the country but their nefarious designs will not succeed due to security arrangements made by the government,” he said, adding that special security arrangements had been made for the D-8 summit and Ashura and law-enforcement personnel were on their toes to avert any untoward incident.
Mr Malik said three groups of terrorists were active in the country. “Some groups of Afghan refugees and members of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi are involved in terrorist activities and anti-Pakistan elements are using them to destabilise the country,” he said.
About the possibility of suspending mobile phone service and banning motorcycles from the 8th to 10th of Muharram, the minister said the federal government was discussing the matter with the provincial governments.
He said the government had collected reports of intelligence agencies and called a meeting to take a decision.
Mr Malik said motorcycles should be parked at least 1,000 yards away from Imambargahs. He said the areas which had been declared vulnerable on the basis of intelligence reports, would be closely monitored and a three-layer security would be put into place.
He said because of efforts of policemen escorting the Muharram procession in Rawalpindi the terrorists could not hit the procession, otherwise there would have been more causalities.
The minister announced to give national awards for four policemen who had prevented the suicide bomber from joining the procession.