Candidate safety on apex panel agenda

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk will be presiding over meeting of apex committee today (Thursday) to discuss security measures for candidates in the run for the July 25 general elections.
While briefing the Senate, interior minister Muhammad Azam Khan informed that banned organisation Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accepted responsibility for the Tuesday night suicide attack on Haroon Bilour in Peshawar.
In his winding up speech the caretaker interior minister asked political leaders’ cooperation with government to ensure security measures. To a question he confirmed that name of former President Asif Ali Zardari has been put on ECL in compliance with the Supreme Court order.
Meanwhile, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani formed a special committee to review measures for politicians’ security. The upper house of parliament also passed a resolution condemning the suicide attack on a corner meeting of Awami National Party in Peshawar which resulted in the death of 20 innocent lives, including Haroon Ahmed Bilour who was set to contest elections from Peshawar PK-78 constituency.
“Haroon was the brave son of a brave father, Basheer Bilour, a senior ANP figure who himself was martyred in a similar incident in 2012. Barrister Haroon was known as one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable persons in contemporary Pakistan,” reads the resolution.
Earlier taking part in the debate on the tragedy, Leader of Opposition Senator Sherry Rehman said that despite threats to several politicians the government failed to provide security to them.
Former information minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leader Pervez Rasheed questioned if armed forces personnel can provide security at polling stations then why can’t they keep an eye on terrorists.
Similarly, former interior minister Rehman Malik claimed that whatever is happening is part of a larger agenda. He said IS and Al-Qaeda have coalesced with TTP and formed a syndicate to perpetuate violence in this month’s elections.
Malik added a senior Nacta official during a meeting of Interior Committee had recently disclosed names of politicians who are under threat. Among others the list included PTI chairman Imran Khan, and ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.