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Musharraf's security tightened after 'attacks'

Musharraf's movements in convoys has been under the tightest surveillance since he has been targeted twice.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 13:02 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's security has been tightened following what officials say were two abortive attempts on his life earlier this week.

In particular, Musharraf's movements in convoys between the twin cities of Islamabad, the national capital and Rawalpindi where he stays, has been under the tightest surveillance since he has been targeted twice earlier on this route.

The News International quoted unnamed "sources in a secret agency" as saying: "No doubt, their target was President Pervez Musharraf, not the presidency."

While criticising these incidents as "grave security lapses", newspaper editorials have speculated on the likely reasons.

Resumption of the peace dialogue with India, the meetings Musharraf had with US President George W Bush and with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the current trouble in Balochistan and other causes have been cited as the likely causes for such deadly plans.

The media has also criticised as "knee-jerk reactions" measures like rounding up and interrogating over 300 people who were working in the Ayub Park where an explosion took place.

Sources hinted that the security agencies had received reports that some foreign terrorist outfits have planned to carry out attacks on the president and the agencies were fully prepared to counter such attempts.

Unexploded ammunition was found on two occasions earlier this week near the high security complex where both Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz stay. Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao confirmed that a probe had been ordered into the incidents.

"A multidimensional investigation has been initiated separately by the military and civil agencies to make a headway to the terrorists," an official source said on condition of anonymity, claiming "We will get them soon".

When asked whether or not the security agencies have made any headway in tracking the terrorists, he said, "Nothing for press".

"Radicals involved in previous plots of targeting President Pervez Musharraf are being interrogated to get a clue to the terrorists behind the Thursday plan," a source said. The involvement of Al-Qaeda radicals cannot be ruled out, the source added.

First Published: Oct 07, 2006 13:02 IST