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Government to Ensure Islamabad Made ‘Safe,’ Vows Interior Minister

by Staff Report

File photo of Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed laments terror incidents on rise in federal capital after TTP claims responsibility for attack on two policemen

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday acknowledged that terror incidents are on the rise in the federal capital, and vowed that the incumbent government will take all necessary steps to ensure the city becomes safer in future.

Late on Thursday night, two policemen were killed in a targeted attack while on routine patrol, with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claiming responsibility. This is the third attack claimed by the TTP in Islamabad in the past year, raising fears that the terrorism that had been largely eradicated by security agencies was once more threatening the state.

In his video statement, issued via his social media accounts, the interior minister said that nine police officers had been martyred in various terror incidents since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) came into power. He appeared to suggest a link to militants based in Afghanistan by saying he would personally visit Waziristan to review the ongoing wire-fencing of the Afghan border. That fencing operation undertaken by the Pakistan Army is set to conclude in two months.

“[Thus far] 88 percent work has been completed on the Pak-Afghan border after which we will also complete fencing on the Iranian border, which is expected to be completed by the year’s-end,” said Rashid, adding that the PTI-led government was working to ensure Pakistan’s borders remained safe. He said the government would soon introduce an electronic management system to monitor border infiltrations.

The interior minister said the government would also undertake several steps to ensure Islamabad’s security, including inducting an additional 100 eagle squads and raising the number of motorcycle squads to 150. He said that eagle squads only had two mobile vans right now and the government would provide 16 more to aid in their operations.

Paying tribute to the martyred police, Rashid said the federal capital was the connection between Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, adding that the government would make it a “safe zone.”

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