Former President Asif Ali Zardari was on Thursady allowed by a Pakistani court to obtain 100 extra gun licences for his bodyguards and a bulletproof car with tinted glasses in view of threats to his life.
The Sindh High Court issued the order in response to a petition seeking extra security for Zardari due to threats to him and his family. These measures will be in addition to the tight security he is entitled to as a former head of state.
The petition said former premier Benazir Bhutto,the late wife of Zardari,was killed in a militant attack and he feared for his life. The petition was filed by Zardari’s lawyer,former Law Minister Farooq Naek.
Abu Bakar Zardari,an aide to Zardari,said the court was requested to grant additional weapons licences and allow the hiring of personal guards for the security of Zardari,his son Bilawal and daughters Aseefa and Bakhtawar.
The judge directed the federal and Sindh governments to ensure Zardari’s security,Abu Bakar said.
He said there was no specific threat to Zardari but that the former President had taken tough decisions against “anti-democratic forces” during his tenure and these elements posed a threat to him and his family.
The petition also said Zardari faced threats from the Taliban.
Speaking to reporters,Naek said Zardari did not want to burden the national exchequer for his security.
Zardari,who has been extremely concerned about his security since his wife’s assassination in 2007,was rarely seen in public during his five-year term as President. His convoy includes an ambulance and vehicle with jamming equipment to prevent bomb attacks.