Governor''s assassin also guarded Zardari and Gilani: Report

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Islamabad, Jan 13 (PTI) The police guard who gunneddown Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was assigned 509 times toprotect key personalities, including Pakistan''s President,Prime Minister and foreign delegations and has heightenedsecurity fears among the country''s elite.

Self-confessed killer, Mumtaz Qadri, was detailed onprotection duties on as many as 509 occasions in the pastthree years, including for US delegations who are primetargets, according to a media report today.

The reports attributed to police investigations havealso cast suspicions that other elite bodyguards may have beenradicalised.

The media reports said this could be alarming as thepolice force is part of the frontline in the war againstterror groups, specially Taliban and al-Qaeda. The reporthighlights the dangers of radicals infiltrating into thesecurity agencies of unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan.

US has long worried about the loyalty of Pakistan''ssecurity forces, especially the powerful army, given thepublicly known links with terror groups fighting inAfghanistan and Kashmir.

Qadri, 26, who surrendered after gunning down Taseerin a market in Islamabad on January 4, has told police he wasangered by the Governor''s criticism of the blasphemy law.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Qadrihad acted alone or was part of a conspiracy.

Qadri was assigned to protect VIPs and VVIPs on 509occasions despite being declared a "security risk" in 2004 dueto his extremist leanings, The News daily quoted a reportcompiled by intelligence agencies as saying.

The policeman was also part of a team that was used byMilitary Intelligence and Inter-Services Intelligence toconduct raids against terrorist groups in 2008.

Among the prominent personalities he was assigned toprotect were President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister YousufRaza Gilani and Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

He was also part of the security detail for a foreigndelegation on two occasions last year.

Qadri had also been part of the security detail forseveral politicians, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik,PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharifand Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Leader of Opposition inparliament. .

Islamabad, Jan 13 (PTI) The police guard who gunneddown Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was assigned to protect keypersonalities, including Pakistan''s President, Prime Ministerand foreign delegations and has heightened security fearsamong the country''s elite.

Self-confessed killer, Mumtaz Qadri, was detailed onprotection duties on as many as 509 occasions in the pastthree years, including for US delegations who are primetargets, according to a media report today.

The reports attributed to police investigations havealso cast suspicions that other elite bodyguards may have beenradicalised.

The media reports said this could be alarming as thepolice force is part of the frontline in the war againstterror groups, specially Taliban and al-Qaeda. The reporthighlights the dangers of radicals infiltrating into thesecurity agencies of unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan.

US has long worried about the loyalty of Pakistan''ssecurity forces, especially the powerful army, given thepublicly known links with terror groups fighting inAfghanistan and Kashmir.

Qadri, who surrendered after gunning down Taseer in amarket in Islamabad on January 4, has told police he wasangered by the Governor''s criticism of the blasphemy law.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Qadrihad acted alone or was part of a conspiracy.

Qadri was assigned to protect VIPs and VVIPs on 509occasions despite being declared a "security risk" in 2004 dueto his extremist leanings, The News daily quoted a reportcompiled by intelligence agencies as saying.

The policeman was also part of a team that was used byMilitary Intelligence and Inter-Services Intelligence toconduct raids against terrorist groups in 2008.

Among the prominent personalities he was assigned toprotect were President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister YousufRaza Gilani and Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

He was also part of the security detail for a foreigndelegation on two occasions last year.

Qadri had also been part of the security detail forseveral politicians, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik,PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharifand Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Leader of Opposition inparliament. .

The assassin served as the personal security guard for Taseer on four occasions and also performed general dutieswith the slain Governor on 10 occasions since 2008.

Qadri was declared unfit for guarding VIPs in August2004 because of his links with several extremistorganisations.

Aftermath, the assassination of the governor,officials have said that all departments involved in publicprotection are reviewing security measures and rescreeninganyone working with high profile officials and nationalleaders.

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