Tuesday, February 19, 2013

State Aristocracy’s Pakistan – 18: Dr. Qadri enjoys VVIP security at government’s expense

ISLAMABAD: At least 40 cops including several elite commandoes and two vehicles of the Punjab police are delegated for round-the-clock security of Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) Chairman Dr. Tahirul Qadri, who is spending approximately Rs2 million per month from the provincial coffer. His security paraphernalia consists of a total of one sub-inspector, four head constables, 22 constables, 12 elite force commandoes, two drivers and two vehicles, a senior Punjab government official told The News.

This is apart from the personal guards that Dr. Qadri has hired from a private firm for his security and dozens of his own party men, who perform similar duties with him. Of the Punjab government security personnel, the official said, one sub-inspector, three head constables and 18 constables are deployed at the PAT chief’s Model Town residence. One head constable and four constables are detailed at the nearby Minhajul Quran Markaz in the same vicinity for Dr. Qadri’s security.

Besides, there are 12 elite force commandoes, who are on 24-hour duty having a vehicle in their use. Another vehicle is in the use of other policemen. Each vehicle spends approximately Rs.100, 000 per month for this duty. The policemen are drawing monthly salaries ranging from Rs.30, 000 to Rs.60, 000 per month, the official said giving the breakup of their pays.

He said that foolproof security was ensured for Dr. Qadri immediately after his return to Pakistan in December last. He said the Punjab government has not bothered about the lethal attack the PAT chief continues to shower on the provincial administration and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN). As far as the security cover for Dr. Qadri is concerned, the official said, the government has made it a point not to give him an opportunity to complain and he seems to be satisfied with it. Such kind of security, the official said, is available only to VVIPs, who occupy key government offices. He said that maximum care has been taken in view of the peculiar security situation. He said that Dr. Qadri would continue to have this much security cover till the time he is in Pakistan. For the moment, he has no plan to go back to Canada and will stay in Pakistan at least till the conclusion of the forthcoming general elections.

According to the official, it was because of the comprehensive security consisting of different layers provided to the PAT chairman during his long march that he had an absolutely smooth passage from Lahore to Rawalpindi. At no stage, did the provincial administration create any hurdle in his way to discourage participation of people in his protest, he said.

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