ISLAMABAD: In the wake of security threats to former prime minister Imran Khan related to today’s PTI rally in Lahore, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered the provision of foolproof security to his predecessor.
A statement issued by PM Office on Twitter said that the premier has directed Interior Division to take measures in this regard.
“PM Shehbaz Sharif has directed Interior Division to take effective and immediate steps for provision of fool-proof security to ex-premier Imran Khan. He further said that peaceful public meetings are part of democracy & instructed that no hurdle should be created in this regard,” it added.
PM Shehbaz Sharif has directed Interior Division to take effecitive & immediate steps for provision of fool-proof security to ex-premier Imran Khan. He further said that peaceful public meetings are part of democracy & instructed that no hurdle should be created in this regard.— Prime Minister's Office (@PakPMO) April 21, 2022
The prime minister ordered Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to take immediate action to deal with the security threats and personally supervise the implementation of the directives.
Following the premier’s orders, the Ministry of Interior issued letters to the home secretaries of all the provincial governments as well as the governments of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
“[Provision] of strict and foolproof security must be ensured during the movement of Imran Khan anywhere in the country. All necessary security measures, including the presence of a bomb disposal squad at Imran’s residence in Bani Gala, should be made,” the Interior Ministry’s letter stated.
It further stated that no lapse concerning Imran’s security during meetings and public gatherings would be tolerated.
The prime minister issued the directives after the Lahore administration raised concerns over PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s security and asked the organisers to install a bulletproof shield for him.
Imran Khan, who is all set to address his first rally in Lahore today (Thursday) after being ousted from the PM Office, received two security alerts ahead of the event, .
The district administration had advised the former prime minister to use a bulletproof vehicle with a sunroof and windows shut to move to and from the venue of the rally, Minar-e-Pakistan.
The deputy commissioner has even advised the former prime minister not to visit Minar-e-Pakistan and address the public meeting over the phone, and if he does, the dais for his address must be shielded with a bulletproof glass screen.
However, the PTI did not alter its plan and announced that the rally will start at 8pm as scheduled.
The PTI has been asked to install a backup electricity generator to avoid any untoward incident in case of a power shutdown.
The district administration also advised the organisers of the public gathering to ensure that unidentified persons are not allowed entry to the venue.
This will be Imran Khan’s first public address in Lahore after his ouster. The PTI leader has pulled massive crowds in all of his recent rallies in Karachi and Peshawar and is confident of today’s rally to be an even bigger power show.
The PTI leadership claims that the public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan will be unprecedented and announce the departure of the incumbent government.
The party had held successful power shows at Minar-e-Pakistan and the one held on October 30, 2011 became the turning point in its struggle after which this party emerged as a major political force in the country.