ISLAMABAD: Revealing threats of terrorist attacks during Eidul-Fitr, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that out of the nine terrorists who had attacked Kamra Airbase, four have been identified. He also added that the airbase incident and other terrorist attacks could be traced back to North and South Waziristan.
While addressing a press conference here on Friday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the terrorist attack on Kamra Airbase was not a security lapse because timely action by security personnel foiled the nefarious designs of terrorists to harm national installations. He dispelled the impression and propaganda unleashed by western media regarding the safety of the country’s nuclear assets and said that the defence of the country and the security of nuclear assets were in safe and strong hands.
“If we can develop nuclear assets, we can know how to protect them also. When Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the founding father of PPP and the architect of the nuclear programme started it, the propagandists started opposing him and his programme at that time also,” the minister said.
To a question, Rehman Malik said that it was for the federal interior ministry to maintain the overall law and order situation but this responsibility had been transferred to the provinces after the 18th constitutional amendment. However, he said, the Ministry of Interior was providing logistic support to, and sharing intelligence from time-to-time with, the provinces besides issuing directions.
The minister said that the interior ministry had issued warnings regarding a possible attack on air force installations and it was the result of this intelligence sharing that valiant personnel of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) were able to foil Thursday’s attack and killed all the assailants.
He saluted the Base Commander of Karma Airbase who led the security personnel from the frontline and succeeded in safeguarding the airbase and also got injured during the operation against the terrorists.
Responding to a question about the operation in North Waziristan, Rehman Malik said that no dictation would be accepted and no decision had so far been made on the issue.
Regarding the Babusar tragedy, he said that it was an incident of terrorism in which innocent people had been killed. He appealed to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) to demonstrate patience and foil the attempts of those who wanted to destabilise the country.
“Though there is no compensation for life, the government will announce packages for those martyred in the tragic incident,” he said.
The minister said that he would visit Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and urged the whole nation to show unity at this critical juncture.
Responding to a question, the minister said that Rs100 million had been allocated for the safety at Sharah-e-Karakoram and patrolling was being ensured at the main artery.
The minister used the term ‘Taliban-branded politics’ and said that some politicians had manifestos close to the preachings of the Taliban. He appealed to such politicians to stop support of such elements who were open enemies of the nation.
Replying to a question about the presence of US nationals on the premises of Police Line Headquarters, Islamabad, the minister said there was no US national there and some foreign trainers including Australians were only imparting training to police personnel. He also invited the media to accompany him there as it was an open-for-all area.
Regarding security on Eidul Fitr, the minister said there were a few threats but all the law enforcement agencies and police department had been directed to put in place strict security measures. He also appealed to the administrations of big mosques to cooperate with the police. He said that security had been tightened at all the airports including Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad.