ISLAMABAD - As usual Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan suddenly woke up after Wednesday's bomb blast in the fruit and vegetable market of the capital and directed the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration to work out a security plan for the market.
While chairing a high-level meeting at the ministry of interior, the minister also directed national coordinator of National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to play a proactive role in evolving a strategy for the protection of capital city and ensure better coordination between intelligence and security agencies. He asked ICT administration and police to identify potential targets of terrorism in the federal capital and work out a comprehensive security plan to safeguard them.
A statement issued by the ministry of interior says that Nisar directed ICT administration to take over control of wholesale fruit and vegetable market situated in Sector I-11 from Capital Development Authority (CDA) and work out a security plan in consultation with local businessmen. He said all entry and exit points of the market should be properly regulated and surveillance cameras should be installed there.
The minister stressed the need for better and effective coordination among all the concerned departments. He directed that due care should be taken of all the injured at government expense and no stone be left unturned to help the people affected by this tragedy.
He said registration of residents of slums and suburban areas of Islamabad should immediately be completed and further support should be sought from intelligence agencies. He said joint patrolling by police and Rangers must start during this month.
Talking to media persons after visiting the blast site, Nisar said that no militant or terrorist group could be held responsible for Islamabad bomb blast till finalisation of investigations.
Nisar said "It is premature to identify any group or sect for its involvement in the incident and the investigations of the incident are being done from all aspects." He said that on one hand probe would be conducted at the blast site in Islamabad while on the other it would be conducted at the place wherefrom fruit crates were transported. However, the minister assured that terrorists would be taken to task.
The minister said that a transparent and instant inquiry of the incident would be held to take the culprits to task and the report in this connection had been sought. He said that more than 300 vehicles came to the fruit market daily from different parts of the country and it was impossible for police to check every vehicle manually. However, he assured that all possible steps would be taken to make the area more secure and safer.
Nisar said that modern technology needed for checking proposes, including scanners bought by the previous government to check explosive material, had failed to deliver.
He said that the last government had bought four scanners amounting to Rs 1 billion from China and two of them had been imported but those could not identify the explosive material. He said that both scanners turned out to be a complete failure. These were in the use of Customs officials as these could only identify organic and inorganic material, he added.
He said that modern technology for the security arrangements in the country was the priority of the government and it was devising a comprehensive plan in this regard.
Responding to a question, he said 11,000 police officials were performing duty in the capital but such incidents could not be averted without modern technology.
Earlier, the minister visited the blast site and senior police officers briefed him about the situation. He also met the representatives of Fruit & Vegetable Market. He assured them that their concerns regarding security would be addressed.