KP govt claims CM has nothing to do with ‘threat alert’ for Arshad Sharif

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administration said on Thursday that Mahmood Khan, the province chief minister, was not involved in the creation of a letter by the anti-terrorism division alleging threats against the life of veteran TV presenter Arshad Sharif.

As the director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations Major-General Iftikhar Babar stated during a press conference on Thursday, the CTD letter in question was issued on the instructions of CM Mahmood Khan, a “threat alert” regarding the plans of a faction of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, an illegal organisation, to target Mr. Arshad earlier this year has brought attention to CTD advisory.

The CTD is the province government’s front-line organisation, and according to Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, spokesperson for the government, it has the responsibility of providing notifications about terrorist threats and launching a crackdown on terrorism. According to Mr. Saif, the CTD issues these alerts as part of “regular business.”

Threat warnings were also released, according to him, by the Intelligence Bureau, CTD, and other organisations.

Arshad Sharif and his family were receiving threats, the spokesperson said, as far as that journalist was concerned.

“We are not suggesting this, and rather, the [slain] journalist’s own words indicated such,” he stated.

Mr. Arshad wouldn’t have died in Kenya, according to Mr. Saif, if the CTD’s danger notice had been accurate.

In response to Mr. Arshad leaving Pakistan through the Bacha Khan Airport in Peshawar, he said that the federal government controlled airports and other organisations in charge of them.

The Federal Investigation Agency, Anti-Narcotics Force, and Customs, according to him, have administrative supervision over the centre.

The spokesperson said that if the federal authorities had had reservations about Mr. Arshad leaving the country, they could have simply prevented it.

According to him, “Anyone may fly from the Peshawar airport since it is an international airport.

He said that the province administration often offered protocol officers’ assistance to significant people, including top journalists, upon request. He was speaking in regards to the formal protocol for the Peshawar-based journalist who was killed.

Until they arrived at the airport, protocol officers assisted those people, he said, and the federal government was in charge of handling affairs there.

The KP government issued a “threat warning” letter on August 5 in response to Chief Minister Mahmood Khan’s instructions, stating that a TTP breakaway group was “seeking to attack Arshad Sharif,” according to a press conference earlier in the day attended by the directors general of ISPR and ISI.

Lt. Gen. Iftikhar said that “no such information was shared with the competent institutions” and added that the actions indicated that the threat warning was issued with the intention of compel Mr. Arshad to leave the country.

There were rumours that Arshad Sharif did not want to leave the nation, but he was constantly reminded that his life was in danger. He travelled to Dubai on EK-637 on August 10 from Peshawar Airport. The KP government gave him a full protocol, he said, and he was accompanied to the airport by KP officials.

The “threat advisory” concerning the TTP splinter group intending to attack the murdered journalist was published by the CTD KP on August 5.

A TTP breakaway group met in Sur Karez, Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, and discussed future plans to attack anchorperson Arshad Sharif, according to the warning, which said that it had been learned from certain trustworthy sources.

In order to carry out their plan, the terrorists “have decided to perform reconnaissance of the target and to find him at the proper site, most likely at Rawalpindi and its neighbouring districts,” the statement said.

According to the warning, in light of this circumstance, the target must be made aware of the situation and given clear instructions to limit his needless movements, among other security precautions.

The assistant inspector general of police for CTD, Punjab, also received the warning.