Pakistan

Terror at NADRA office: Negligence blamed for Mardan attack

A security advisory was issued to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) office in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Mardan district a day before the deadly attack but Nadra failed to adopt necessary preemptive measures.

On Tuesday, a Taliban suicide bomber riding a motorcycle crashed into the main gate of the office, killing 26 people and injuring dozens others.

According to the official documents available with The Express Tribune, the Nadra office management was repeatedly advised to adopt security arrangements. On October 16, the concerned officials even refused to receive the advisory.

The alert and the managements’ refusal to comply with the advisory were maintained in a logbook, the documents stated. The first advisory was issued on January 7.

“The police department repeatedly asked Nadra office management but it refused to comply with the direction,” a senior official said, requesting not to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.

The second advisory, addressed to the Nadra office director Qaisar Khattak, mentioned the poor security arrangement as well as the office vulnerability. It said the office lacked basic security including barricades, CCTV cameras and emergency alarm system.

“The Nadra office lack security despite the fact that it is overcrowded. The official [Khattak] was asked to receive the security advisory but he has refused. For the record, I am filing the situation here,” reads the logbook report.

The circular, issued on January 7, was also sent to the deputy IG Mardan Syed Wazir when the sub-divisional police officer asked the Nadra management to take security steps in view of the situation at the office.

It read that data of visitors be kept and weaponry be provided to all those deployed for security purpose to enable them overcome any untoward situation. Data of the employees be maintained and sandbags be placed on entry gate, it added.

A case has been registered by SHO city police station Ashiq Khan against unknown persons under sections 302, 324 PPC 3/4 Explosives Act, Section 7 of anti-terrorism act and 427. At least 80 suspected criminals were arrested during a combined search operation by the security forces and police in City Circle.

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