In the wake of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer's assassination by his police guard, the Pakistan government is considering a proposal to bring in special security guards from the US for President Asif Ali Zardari, according to a media report today.
While Zardari's security has always been cause of "serious concern" for authorities, the government is also mulling a proposal to hire foreign security guards for several VVIPs, including the Prime Minister, provincial Governors and Chief Ministers and a few federal ministers, The Express Tribune newspaper quoted highly-placed sources as saying.
The proposal for the President's security envisages deploying US guards in Zardari's "inner-most security cordon", the report said.
The proposals are part of the government's decision to review security arrangements of key personalities following the January 4 assassination of Taseer, which validated "fears that religious extremism had penetrated the ranks of security forces in Pakistan", the report said.
"An overhaul in the present security system has been recommended as an essential requirement by the authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of the VVIPs," a
source was quoted as saying by the daily.
An army unit, the 111 Brigade that has been used for several military coups, is currently deployed at the Presidency for the security of Zardari, while police guards are posted around the boundary walls of the palatial building in the heart of Islamabad.
However, Zardari has engaged "many private guards from Sindh" for his personal security, "reflecting a distrust of government-provided security arrangements", the report said.