Taliban Threats Force Tight Security Measures

ISLAMABAD (TIP): Over 600,000 army and paramilitary forces have been deployed across Pakistan amid Taliban threats to disrupt the polls on Saturday. The Taliban on Friday warned voters to boycott polling to save their lives as the campaigning concluded a day earlier. They have singled out the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and its allies that were in power for the last five years and killed over 100 people in attacks since April.

Ex-prime minister and PPP leader Yousuf Raza Gilani’s 27-year-old son, Ali Haider Gilani, was kidnapped and his two aides killed in Multan on Thursday while he was campaigning. The kidnapping further heightened fears ahead of the polls. The ex-PM sought ISI’s help to locate his son as police were yet to make any breakthrough in their efforts to trace Ali Haider. “We have not yet received any call from the kidnappers.

I ask the ISI to help the police trace my son.” A Taliban faction is suspected to have kidnapped the 27-year-old, who had received threats from the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba. Gilani said Ali Haider had been receiving “death and kidnapping threats” from the two outfits. But he appealed for clam. “We should create a conducive atmosphere for the elections, so that polls look fair and transparent.”

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