ISLAMABAD   -         The federal government on Wednesday warned the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of the threats of militant groups and “radicalized youth” of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to the party chief Imran Khan and participants of its long march urging it to postpone its political rally scheduled for November 26 in Rawalpindi. The Ministry of Interior in its two separate official letters has warned the provincial governments and PTI Secretary General Asad Umar about the security threats in the wake of “ulterior motives of hostile agencies and other anti-state elements.” In the first letter written to Umar, the ministry said that the security situation “prevailing in the country may be kept in view and the PTI leadership may consider the possibility of postponing public gatherings like the one planned in Rawalpindi on November 26 to avoid any untoward incident”. It said that the ministry has been sharing threat alerts generated by credible intelligence sources to the life of former prime minister Imran Khan by anti-state elements, which “aim to destabilize the country.” It added that the November 3 attack on chairman PTI Khan in Wazirabad by an armed assailant has highlighted the importance of taking the threat alerts seriously, “particularly in the context of the resumption of the march and its culmination in Rawalpindi on November 26”. In view of these threats, the federal government had provided a bulletproof vehicle and deployed police and civil armed forces during Khan’s stay in Islamabad. However, the party chief was presently stationed in Lahore, according to the letter. The ministry underlined that it is expected of the provincial government of Punjab to take all necessary measures for security arrangements in its jurisdiction not only for the protection of Khan but also for the participants of the march. This is because that “anti-state elements like Al-Qaeda/Daesh, TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), and radicalized youth of TLP can take advantage of soft targets like public gatherings to destabilize the country through suicide attacks, and IEDs (improvised explosive devices),” it also said. “In view of the gravity of the security threat, the need to exercise maximum caution can hardly be overemphasized”. It is regretted, however, that despite repeated requests to pay heed to the threat alerts issued over the last few months in general and in the context of November 26 protest in Rawalpindi in particular, the party leadership seems “oblivious” to the prevailing security situation, the letter underscored. The ministry further informed Umar that the latest intelligence report has been shared with provincial governments. The Ministry of Interior in the second letter — labelled as “Risk Assessment viz-a-viz PTI long march” — written to the chief secretaries of all four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan and chief commissioner Islamabad said that it has been learnt through reliable intelligence sources that here was a serious threat to the life of Khan as well as the participants of the long march. It also said that some factors shared by an intelligence agency enhance the likelihood of such threats. The ministry explained in the letter that the “leakage of the video statement of the accused shooter” involved in the Wazirabad attack was one of the factors. Belief of radicalized and uneducated young members of TLP that Imran was responsible for the police crackdown against its workers in the past can be another factor, it said and added, “Any attempt of a lone wolf attack for vengeance by any radicalized youth of TLP cannot be ruled out.” It underlined that alliance of PTI with Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) and participation of the religious party’s cadres in the long march can make it a target of anti-Shia militants, particularly by Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP). A large number of Daesh, a militant group, operatives have infiltrated from Afghanistan into Pakistan after the Taliban seized power in Kabul, it also said. The letter emphasized that Al-Qaeda has been dormant for quite some time, however, it has a penchant for conducting attacks with strategic implications. “In this backdrop, mass bombing/IED attack or suicide attack cannot be ruled out against such soft targets”. The ministry concluded that extreme vigilance and caution be exercised to prevent the possibility of any such incident