India and Pakistan have beefed up security at the Wagah land border crossing after receiving a letter from the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba that threatened to blow up an Integrated Check Post that was recently opened to boost bilateral trade.
The letter warned that the multi-crore rupee Integrated Check Post would be attacked as Pakistan had increased trade with India before resolving the Kashmir dispute,the ‘Daily Times newspaper’ quoted security sources as saying.
The sources told the daily that they had received reports about banned groups planning to attack some public personalities or key sites.
This information had been forwarded to concerned authorities so that adequate security measures could be adopted,they said.
India’s Border Security Forces,in cooperation with Pakistani authorities,has tightened security at the Integrated Check Post and put rescue teams,ambulances and fire brigade vehicles on alert to deal with any emergency,the report said.
Mahboob Hussain,a spokesman for the Pakistan Rangers that is responsible for security along the border,said trade points at Wagah were under the army’s control and security at these locations was optimum.
Asked about reported threats from the LeT or any extremist group to sabotage trade between Pakistan and India at Wagah,Hussain said: I am not aware of such threats.
He contended there was no issue with regard to security of ongoing trade between the two countries at Wagah.
Hardliners in the Defa-a-Pakistan Council,a conglomerate of over 40 extremist and religious groups cobbled together by LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed,have opposed the Pakistan government’s efforts to normalise trade relations with India.
The reported LeT threat to the Integrated Check Post has come against the backdrop of several steps taken by the two countries to normalise trade relations,including Pakistan’s in-principle decision to give India Most Favoured Nation status by the beginning of the next year.
India and Pakistan are also considering the opening of more trade routes and the easing of the visa regime.
The LeT was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166 people.
LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi is among seven persons accused of financing,planning and facilitating the assault on India’s financial hub.