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    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    20,000 policemen to guard Bhutto, KARACHI

    Home:Pakistan/Afghanistan
    20,000 policemen to guard PPP chief
    Published: Thursday, 18 October, 2007, 02:24 AM Doha Time
    Policemen transport a container to block the roads around the airport in preparation for the arrival of former Benazir Bhutto in Karachi yesterday
    KARACHI:
    Benazir Bhutto will be guarded by 20,000 police, anti-sniper shields and the sheer number of her own supporters when she returns home today amid warnings of Al Qaeda attacks, officials said.
    Police marksmen will take positions on rooftops and flyovers, while bomb disposal squads are sweeping the former premier’s route on her planned 18-hour procession from Karachi airport to the mausoleum of Pakistan’s founder.
    “The threat of suicide bombing is there. There are two or three groups of suicide bombers operating in Karachi, according to intelligence reports,” Sindh province home secretary Ghulam Mohamed Mohtarram said.
    The groups were linked to Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network, Afghanistan’s hardline Taliban militia and a Pakistani pro-Taliban militant leader who has reportedly threatened to “welcome” Bhutto with suicide bombers, he said.
    “Whatever we can do we will do for the protection of Benazir Bhutto. The person of Benazir Bhutto will be covered. But it will be very difficult to prevent such bombings if they happen in the mob,” he said.
    Her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), however, said it expected that Bhutto would in fact be protected by the 1mn supporters it estimates will flood the streets on her homecoming.
    “It’s a mixture of our own diehard supporters who will be surrounding her to keep her safe, and the administration, which has promised foolproof security,” Senator Safdar Abbasi, a PPP central executive committee member, said.
    “Threats do exist,” he added.
    Bhutto will be behind bullet-proof screens as she rides a specially modified 20-foot shipping container attached to the back of a lorry through the teeming city, police and her party said.
    Up to 20,000 police and paramilitary troops will be deployed for her arrival - 8,000 to 10,000 on the route itself and another 10,000 elsewhere in Karachi, a top city police official said.
    Bomb disposal squads and sniffer dogs are already checking for roadside explosive devices, the official added.
    Bhutto herself will be surrounded by three separate security cordons, the official said.
    The outermost will prevent all access to Bhutto’s lorry, a moving platform for journalists and about 10 cars for her senior party workers. In the second, plain-clothed and uniformed officers will ride in and among the party cars.
    And the innermost cordon will be security officials with Bhutto on her truck.
    On arrival at the huge white marble mausoleum for Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the country’s founding father, she will give a speech from behind more bullet-proof screens.
    Bhutto said earlier this week she was more worried that former army officers could try to assassinate her than that Al Qaeda or the Taliban would launch suicide attacks against her.
    She said on Wednesday in Dubai:
    “I don’t believe that a true Muslim will make an attack on me... Islam forbids suicide bombings.”

    GOOD LUCK

    - AFP SOURCE:


    "Tomorrow at this time we will be on board the plane for Karachi, which is a day that I and all the people in Pakistan who love democracy and who believe in fundamental human rights have been waiting for," Bhutto said in Dubai.

    Pakistan's biggest city was gearing up for her arrival.

    Billboards bearing iconic images of Bhutto smiling beneath a trademark white scarf loomed over downtown Karachi, while youths on motorcycles zipped through suburbs with pennants of her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) aloft.

    Leaders of the PPP predicted that a million people will turn out to greet her, as supporters carrying red, black and green party banners streamed into Karachi from villages in the flat, arid hinterland of Sindh province.

    Despite being out of power since 1996, the charismatic Bhutto, 54, remains one of the most recognisable women politicians in the world, having been prime minister twice and the first female leader of a Muslim nation.

    The United States is believed to have quietly encouraged an alliance between President Pervez Musharraf and Bhutto to keep nuclear-armed Pakistan's government moderate and pro-Western.

    But, the timing of Bhutto's return is awkward for General Musharraf, who sees her as both a rival and potential ally after a general election due in early January SOURCE:

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    Ms Bhutto has claimed that some pro-jihadist retired Pakistani military officers were plotting her assassination, but said that death threats could not deter her.

    Educated at Harvard and Oxford Universities, Ms Bhutto became the first female prime minister of a Muslim country when her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) won elections in 1988. She was ousted from office after only 18 months amid charges of corruption and incompetence.
    SOURCE:
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    New Delhi: Pakistan has turned into a virtual fortress ahead of the return of its exiled former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. A security blanket has been thrown over Karachi, where Benazir will arrive after her flight lands later in the day.

    Pakistani officials in charge of the security are leaving nothing to chance given the death threats from jehadis and have made elaborate arrangements.

    IG Karachi Jehangir Mirza told CNN-IBN the roads leading to the city have sealed. “We have sealed off side roads with shipping containers. Bomb squads have also combed the streets following threats by a Taliban commander Baitullah Masood,” he said.

    More than 3,500 police officers and 5,000 supporters have been deployed to patrol the route, Mirza said, adding schools and colleges will remain shut.

    “This will be 10 miles journey and looking at the crowd, it may take whole day,” Mirza said.

    Benazir’s fleet would include a bullet-proof Mercedez car attached with bulletproof troller and a suicide bomb detector. The troller will be used as high rise public address stage, Pakistan official Wajid Shamsul Hasan said.

    In case of an emergency, there’s also a helicopter on the standby. SOURCE

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    By Rahimullah Yusufzai

    PESHAWAR: Did Baitullah Mehsud, the commander of Taliban fighters in South Waziristan, really threaten suicide attacks targeting Benazir Bhutto?

    Members of his group have expressed ignorance about any such threat and the pro-MMA Senator Maulana Saleh Shah, who was reported to have made a statement about Baitullah Mehsud’s plan to ‘welcome’ Benazir Bhutto upon her return to Pakistan with a suicide bombing, has already issued a denial......

    ............Though it is clear that Baitullah Mehsud hasn’t threatened Benazir Bhutto with suicide bombing, one should keep in mind that anyone intending to launch such an attack would not brag about it publicly. Benazir Bhutto has provoked the militants and Jihadis with some of her recent pro-US and anti-al-Qaeda and anti-Taliban statements and one should, therefore, not rule out the possibility of suicide bombings targeting her............

    MORE:

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    An interior ministry official, Javed Iqbal Cheema, said pro-Taleban militants had threatened to mount suicide attacks, but he was confident there was adequate security for Ms Bhutto's return.
    Source:

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    Dubai. Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto set out on Thursday on a journey home to end eight years of self-exile, under threat of assassination from militants linked to al Qaeda once she reaches Karachi. Source:


    Gerald

    AFGHAN PREZ SAYS TALIBAN RECONCILIATION:

    Update: assassination:
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    1 Comments:

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I always learn something new from your post!Great article. I wish I could write so well.


    Education Consultants Pakistan

    9:40 AM  

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