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Six security alerts issued to Sindh: Nisar

11 June, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday told the National Assembly (NA) that the country was in a state of war and six security alerts were issued to the Sindh government.

The minister said the Sindh government was sent a security alert in March specifically mentioning that the entry gates of old airport, from where the terrorists entered, were vulnerable and security risk but no measures were taken to make them secure.

Syed Naveed Qamar of the PPP, however, clarified that security of airports was the responsibility of the ASF and not of the provincial government.

Nisar said the attack was not carried out on the Karachi airport but at the terminal of the old airport, which was about two kilometres away from the main airport.

He said the terrorists who attacked the terminal of old Karachi airport appeared to be foreigners, saying the CCTV footage showed that the 10 heavily-armed terrorists had long height and fair complexion. "Their features are different from us and the neighbouring country," he said.

He said the terrorists failed altogether in their objectives as they wanted to made the people hostage and destroy assets like aircraft. He informed the house that the bodies of terrorists were with the security forces and currently their biometrics and postmortems were being carried out.

He said that a total 10 terrorists had attacked the airport, seven of them were killed by security forces while three of them blew themselves up.

Nisar paid tributes to the security forces saying that the whole NA acknowledged their sacrifices and bravery. He said the personnel of the Airport Security Force (ASF) exhibited an exemplary gallantry as their 11 men were martyred adding the terrorists tried to storm the old airport terminal in two groups of five and were engaged by three personnel of the ASF at the gate for 15 minutes.

He said these 15 minutes mattered a lot as in the meantime reinforcements of Rangers, police and army completed the outer cordon of the airport.

He said the exchange of fire with the heavily-armed terrorists who were equipped with rockets, hand grenades and Kalashnikovs continued for two hours and at 1:45am, the last terrorist was killed by the forces.

He said the terrorists who were wearing uniforms of the ASF had earlier started their journey somewhere from Karachi but they were not checked.

Responding to a point raised by Nawab Muhammad Yousuf Talpur of the PPP, he said no attack was carried out on the ASF Academy in Karachi on Tuesday.

Nisar said the country was facing serious security issues and concerted efforts by the whole nation were needed to combat the menace of terrorism. "We are in the war zone and only unity among our ranks can foil the nefarious designs of the country s enemies," he said.

He said measures were being taken to provide security to Zaireen (pilgrims) visiting Iran while the air link with that country had already been restored.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) said he agreed with the government that there should be no political point-scoring on issues of national security. However, he feared that some institutions of the country were not on the same page. "It is also said that the civil-military relations are not good," he said.

Qureshi said the house should also be told as to what had happened with the dialogue with the Taliban. "We will support the government if it starts the dialogue process," he said.

End.

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