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January 14, 2017

Federal, provincial govts given two weeks to submit VVIP security policy documents


January 14, 2017

The Sindh High Court on Friday directed the law officers for the federal and provincial governments to submit within two weeks documents detailing their respective policies regarding provision of security to VVIP personalities who may face threats to their lives.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari seeking adequate security from police and Rangers, including permission for travelling in cars with factory-manufactured tinted glasses and with his own personal armed guards.

Sindh Advocate General Barrister Zamir Ghumro told the court that the provincial government provides adequate security for protection of political and religious leaders and other dignitaries. He explained that security is provided to the individuals after evaluating the threat level they may be facing.

The SHC division bench headed by Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah then directed the federal and provincial law officers to submit within two weeks the government policy for provision of security VVIPs.

The young PPP chairman has said in his petition that since the assassination of his mother and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, he and his family have been facing threats from undemocratic forces in the country. He says he has always been apprehensive because PPP leaders are receiving threats from extremist and terrorist organisations.

The petition says there are reports of security agencies which establish that Bilawal’s life is at great risk.

Referring to the reports, the counsel has said security agencies have emphasised the need for making all security arrangements, including 24-hour special security cover, whenever Bilawal visits any of the provinces.

The provincial government has already submitted before the court that it has no objection to providing security to the petitioner and it will provide security to him in future as he is the head of a political party. 

The SHC had earlier granted petitions of Bilawal’s father, Asif Ali Zardari, PPP co-chairman and former president, and his aunt, Faryal Talpur, for providing security, including bulletproof vehicles and private security guards.

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