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Senate asked Interior ministry to differentiate between PM protocol and security

18 September, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Monday asked the interior ministry to differentiate between protocol and security, and directed it to provide security to Prime Minister Imran Khan as per the blue book, even if the chief executive was hesitant.

The ‘blue book’ is a classified document and it carries matters relating to protocol, a comprehensive security plan that is followed during VVIP movements, especially those of the president and prime minister, and steps to be taken in the event of a disaster or an emergency. The book also contains details of sensitive installations.

During a meeting of the Senate standing committee on interior, its chairman Rehman Malik referred to the latest threat alert issued against five politicians, including the premier. The blue book had to be properly followed, he said, directing Interior Secretary Yousaf Naseem Khokhar to provide security to the prime minister and other politicians under threat regardless of what anyone said.

“It happens everywhere in the world. Do not bother about what the media says,” he remarked.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Javed Abbasi was the only individual to oppose the idea of providing security to the prime minister, saying that “let them follow their party’s policy”. He also criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for making certain claims and acting to the contrary. He said that earlier President Arif Alvi was shown travelling to Karachi as an ordinary passenger without any protocol, but things were different when he reached Karachi where dozens of vehicles were present to accord him an extraordinary protocol.

Besides discussing security measures, the Senate panel — through a unanimously adopted resolution — voiced its concern over unfounded allegations of money laundering against Pakistan.

The committee members were of the view that the money was being laundered through drugs by Afghanistan under the eyes of US forces, which was a source of production and supply to the world. They said that major areas of Afghanistan were under the control of the US forces, and demanded that drug production and supply should be stopped by the American forces with immediate effect and the “baseless charges” against Pakistan be dropped.

The panel said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) needed to review the conduct of India where it was sponsoring Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant organisation, for its continued terrorism in both Pakistan and Kashmir.

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