Security threats led to Nawaz’s convoy rushing out of Rawalpindi: sources

Security threats are said to be the reason former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s convoy sped up while exiting Rawalpindi on Thursday — the second day of his ‘homecoming’ rally.

According to sources close to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo, security officials had informed Nawaz’s core team that there are security threats against the three-time prime minister in Rawalpindi, and that the security agencies in-charge of his security will not take responsibility for any untoward incident.

As a result, Nawaz, on the advice of his confidants, decided that the convoy speed out of Rawalpindi.

On Thursday, it was noted that the premier’s convoy, which left Punjab House Rawalpindi, did not stay for long at Kacheri Chowk and quickly reached Jhelum, moving at over 100 kilometres per hour.

Opponents had cited the lack of public response in Rawalpindi as the reason for Nawaz to ‘save face’, and whizz out of the garrison city.

However, a report in the BBC yesterday stated that Railways Minister Saad Rafique, who is accompanying Nawaz on his ‘GT Road rally’, was whisked away for a moment by security officials in Rawalpindi, following which he returned and the convoy sped up.

Talking on a channel, Rafique denied the BBC report.

Rafique explained that as the convoy was slowly passing through Kacheri Chowk, he disembarked from his vehicle to check up on the delay. Being a minister, I had security officials guarding me, he said further.

Rafique claimed that he instructed party leaders who were causing the delay to stop as enough time had been wasted in Rawalpindi a day before and speed up the convoy as supporters in Jhelum were waiting.


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