Pakistan's counter-terrorism agency has warned that senior leaders of various political parties, including Imran Khan, could be targeted by militants during campaign rallies for the July 25 elections.
The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) yesterday said it had forwarded 12 threat alerts to the federal interior and provincial home ministries as well as law enforcement agencies.
"The leadership of political parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and six personalities that can be targeted during the elections," the agency was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.
"Six people include Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, Awami National Party leaders Asfandyar Wali and Ameer Haider Hoti, Qaumi Watan Party head Aftab Sherpao, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Akram Khan Durrani and Hafiz Saeed's son Talha Saeed," NACTA director Obaid Farooq said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Interior.
Committee chairman Senator Rehman Malik, while expressing grave concern over the threats, directed the interior ministry to provide foolproof security to the heads of parties and those for whom threat alerts were issued.
He said Election Commission of Pakistan Secretary Babar Yaqoob had already informed the committee that there was a possibility of violence during the general elections scheduled for July 25, and directed that such alerts be taken seriously.
Deputy Inspector General of Islamabad police Waqar Ahmed Chohan informed the Senate committee that the National Accountability Bureau chairman had received a threatening letter that the agency's headquarters would be attacked with an explosives-laden vehicle.
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