KARACHI: Former Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari was Thursday granted permission to strengthen his already tight personal security due to threats to his life.
A judge in Sindh High Court in Karachi approved Zardari's application for 100 extra licences for his bodyguards to carry weapons, on top of the official security he is entitled to as former head of state.
"The judge has approved our request and ordered the federal and provincial governments to ensure security for the former president," Abu Bakar Zardari, an aide to the president who filed a petition to the court on his behalf, told AFP.
Zardari's wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated in 2007 in an attack blamed on the Pakistani Taliban.
He is known to be very concerned about his personal safety and rarely moves about on the roads.
When he does venture out, he travels in an entourage of more than a dozen vehicles, escorted by police commandos and three vanloads of paramilitary Rangers.
His convoy also regularly includes an ambulance and a vehicle carrying signal jammers to stop anyone using a mobile phone to detonate a bomb near him.
In July a suicide bomber killed Zardari's top personal security officer in an attack in Karachi.
Zardari, who is hugely unpopular in Pakistan and is nicknamed "Mr 10 Percent" due to unproven corruption allegations against him, stepped down as president last month after five years in office. (AFP)