Interior ministry asks PTI to postpone Pindi rally over 'terror' threats.

ISLAMABAD -- Warning of the threat of a terrorist attack by militant groups or 'radicalised youth', the Interior Ministry on Wednesday asked the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to postpone its public gatherings as part of the party's ongoing 'Haqeeqi Azadi' long march.

In a letter to PTI Secretary General Asad Umar, the ministry said looking at the country's security situation 'the PTI leadership may consider the possibility of postponing public gatherings like the one planned in Rawalpindi on Nov 26 to avoid any untoward incident'.

Earlier this week, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had asked his supporters to converge on Rawalpindi on Nov 26 for the resumption of the party's long march that he is expected to rejoin in person after recovering from the injuries he sustained in a gun attack in Wazirabad earlier this month. The march was suspended when it reached Rawat a few days ago.

The Interior Ministry in its letter said it had been 'sharing alerts on the threats to the life' of Mr Khan from 'anti-state elements'. The alerts had been generated by credible intelligence sources, it said.

The letter further said that in view of the threats, the federal government had provided a bulletproof vehicle and deployed police and civil armed forces for Mr Khan's stay in the capital. However, the PTI chief was presently in Lahore and participants of the march had moved to Rawat.

The ministry expected the Punjab government to take all necessary security measures in their jurisdiction for the protection of the former prime minister as well as the march participants.

'Anti-state elements like Al Qaeda/Daesh, TTP, and radicalised youth of the TLP can take advantage of soft targets like public gatherings to destabilise the country through suicide attacks, IEDs (improvised explosive devise) etc,' it warned.

The letter to former minister Asad Umar stated that 'in view of the gravity of the security threat, the need to exercise maximum caution can hardly be over-emphasised'.

The letter regretted, however, that despite repeated requests cautioning the PTI about the threats, especially in the context of the protest planned in Rawalpindi on Nov 26, the party leadership seemed 'oblivious' to the security situation.

The latest intelligence report had been shared with the provincial governments. The ministry urged the PTI to keep the security...

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