Islamabad, Aug. 10: Pakistan intelligence agencies fear major Al Qaeda backed terrorist acts on Independence Day, to be celebrated on August 14.
"There are reports of such plans (by terrorists). We have informed the government to take appropriate steps to ensure peace during Independence Day," a senior government official told this newspaper.
"There are more chances of terrorists striking the major cities, including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and others. We have to beef up security there (in those cities)," the official said.
The government is facing an upsurge in militant violence in volatile tribal regions bordering Afghanistan since the operation against Lal Masjid militants in July. The terrorists have also targeted Islamabad and other cities. Over 150 people were killed in the Lal Masjid operation and over 250 have been killed in the suicide and terror attacks following the government action.
"The ministry of interior has stressed for extraordinary cautiousness and vigilance on the 60th Independence Day. All the provincial governments have been asked to take necessary precautionary and preventive measures in order to forestall the threat of suicide attacks in the country," the official said.
He said, "The ministry of interior has learnt that Al Qaeda, in collaboration with (banned) Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and radicals from Malakand agency, is planning to carry out bomb blasts and launch suicidal missions."