Pakistani minister requests non-Muslim security escort after receiving threats from Islamists

(Pixabay/Meditations)A Pakistani minister has reportedly requested non-Muslim that only non-Muslim officers be deployed for his protection after receiving threats from Islamists.

A Pakistani minister has conducted a shake-up of his security detail and requested that only non-Muslim officers be deployed for his protection after he reportedly received threats from Islamists.

Intelligence agencies are reportedly conducting background checks on Pakistan's provincial law Minister Rana Sanaullah's security detail and have also asked him to restrict his movements. However, sources close to the minister have claimed that he was not satisfied with the background checks and has employed a private security firm to provide protection for him.

According to Rabwah Times, Sanaullah has also asked the Punjab police to provide him with a list of all Hindu, Ahmadi and Christian officers in the province.

The minister reportedly intends to replace his current police escort with non-Muslim officers who will be selected from the compiled list. He is currently being protected by Christian security guards from a private firm as he waits for the list.

Sanaullah drew outrage a few weeks earlier after he stated that there was minor difference between Muslims and Ahmadis, a minority Islamic sect that is considered heretical by the majority of Muslims.

His remarks came amid allegations that the government is trying to appease the Ahmadis by changing electoral laws in their favor.

In response to Sanaullah's statements, the recently-formed political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) organized countrywide protests to call for his resignation.

On Sunday, over 300 members of the party were arrested by the police in Punjab for creating unrest during the protest. Over a dozen activists and five policemen were reportedly injured during the clashes between the protesters and the authorities since Saturday.

"We have arrested more than 300 TLP workers from different cities of Punjab for creating law and order situation in the province," Punjab Police spokesman Niyab Haider said.

According to Haider, the activists who were booked were blocking roads, damaging public property and injuring policemen during the protests.

Sanaullah's concerns about his security follow the assassination of the former governor of Punjab in 2011 after he expressed his objections to Pakistan's blasphemy law.

Salman Taseer was killed by his own bodyguard Mumtaz Qadri just days after he met Asia Bibi, who is accused of blasphemy, in Sheikhupura jail in November 2010.

Qadri was assigned as one of Taseer's bodyguards after he had enraged conservative Muslims for calling for reform to the country's blasphemy laws. Many hardline factions hailed him as a hero after he was arrested for assassinating the governor.

Just days after Qadri's execution in February this year, thousands of religious hardliners defied a ban on demonstrations to rally in support of the assassin.

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