Bearded cops to be withdrawn from Pak VVIPs security fleet following Taseer's killing

Written by: Anita Nair
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Lahore, Jan 8 (ANI): In a major policy shift in the aftermath of Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer's assassination by one of his own elite security force protectors, the provincial government has begun proper screening and scrutiny of the officials of the Elite Force to avoid any further untoward incident.

Well-placed sources revealed that ten bearded personnel of Elite Force had been withdrawn from VVIP's security as Taseer's killing sparked security concerns among the top Pakistan politicians, particularly the liberal and moderate ones, The Nation reports.

According to police sources, a special team of the Elite Force comprising experienced officers have begun screening of the Elite Force officials in order to monitor their activities and religious leanings.

"Those policemen who are very religious will not be deployed on the security of VVIPs. A comprehensive screening and scrutiny is underway in this regard," said a top police officer on the condition of anonymity.

The sources also revealed that initially all the bearded men would be withdrawn from the security fleet of VVIPs and would be deployed on general law and order duties.

The special team constituted in this regard has also been tasked to collect in detail the particulars of the Elite Force personnel, including their sects, religious leanings, family background and association with religious groups.

At present, out of 1012 officials of Elite Force, 878 policemen have been deployed on the security of VVIPs in the provincial metropolis.

According to the police record, over 300 officials of Elite Force police are deployed for the security of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and their family members.

Hundreds of others Elite Force personnel are also providing security cover to top politicians and their families, including Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and his family, Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah, the American Consulate General in Lahore, top judges including Chief Justice Lahore High Court, and police hierarchy including the Inspector General of Police Punjab and the Capital City Police Officer. (ANI)

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