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Inadequate security in Parachinar despite threat alerts irks Nisar

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has expressed concern over inappropriate security arrangements in Parachinar despite two threat alerts sent to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government by his ministry.

Talking to KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra on phone after postponing his visit to Parachinar due to bad weather, the minister said he had directed the head of the National Counter Terrorism Authority to investigate why appropriate security measures were not taken in Parachinar despite two threat alerts sent by the ministry on Nov 25 and Dec 14. The governor also hinted at a similar investigation by the local administration.

Chaudhry Nisar said that such isolated incidents that took place after a long spell of achievements (in the fight against terrorism) set off alarm bells. He said the time had come when it should be analysed if such incidents, despite effective intelligence reports, amounted to negligence in security and, if so, responsibility should be fixed.

He expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the Parachinar attack. At least 25 people were killed and over 50 others suffered injuries in a powerful explosion in a local market of Parachinar on Saturday.

In a text message sent to journalists, the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami claimed that it, along with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s splinter group led by Sheheryar Mehsud, had carried out the attack.

PPP Senator Saeed Ghani, in a statement on Sunday, had said that ‘silence’ of the interior minister on the incident was ‘meaningful’.

In a rejoinder to the PPP leader’s statement demanding resignation of the minister, a spokesman for the interior ministry said on Monday that it did not suit a patriotic person to play politics on Parachinar-like incidents and level baseless allegations.

He said that such tragic incidents demanded a spirit of solidarity and resolve in society, adding that the statement was based on a ‘blatant lie’. Had the senator bothered to turn on TV to watch latest developments, his unawareness would not have been exposed. He pointed out that all TV channels had reported the interior minister’s condemnation soon after the Parachinar incident.

Besides, the spokesman said, the National Database and Registration Authority and the Federal Investigation Agency had been directed to contact local authorities in Parachinar and cooperate with them in investigations.

He said that such attitudes only rendered a blow to the efforts against terrorism, besides adding to the woes of families of the victims.

Instead of hurling false allegations, he said, Mr Ghani should have compared the law and order situation in the country during the tenure of the PPP government when bomb blasts took place on a daily basis with the situation now which continued to gradually improve.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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