PC alert on terror strikes

Says Pakistan-based groups may target politicians

New Delhi, March 19 : The government has received inputs from intelligence agencies suggesting that Pakistan-based terrorist groups could target top political leaders in the run up to and during the Lok Sabha elections.

Home Minster P Chidambaram said today that India was very uncomfortable with the present situation in Pakistan where it was hard to understand as to who was in control of the country.
Reviewing the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir state for the Lok Sabha elections, he said even political leaders would have to be very careful about their movement in the run-up to the elections. “I advise prudence on the part of political leaders while campaigning,” the Home Minister said, adding that there was no specific alert about a terrorist strike.

Meanwhile, sources say there is an increased chatter that points to heightened terror threat. Pointing out that there was no specific information on who could be targeted, the sources said it had always been the goal of terror groups to target political leaders and try to disrupt the election process to get publicity.

The threat perception also emanates from evidence that Pakistan’s ISI has not stopped its dealings with anti-India terrorist groups operating on the Pakistani soil. “There is no sign yet to suggest that the ISI has stopped the use of terror groups as an asset,” the sources added.

The 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai by the Lashkar-e-Taiba clearly suggest that Pakistan-based ‘jehadi’ groups could intensify their activities, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and other regions, bordering Pakistan as well as the North-East, as the country’s leadership hits the campaign trail.