Islamabad: Security has been beefed up across the country in the wake of the killing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a CIA-operated drone strike in the restive North Waziristan tribal region.
Instructions have been given out to police and security officials to keep a hawk eye vigil to prevent the feared backlash from the Taliban.
"All precautions have been taken," Interior Ministry spokesperson Omar Hameed Khan told a news agency.
Security analysts say that a backlash from the Taliban, which carried out gruesome attacks that killing thousands in the country, is possible.
Security was increased at all sensitive government installations across the country besides Islamabad. More policemen could be seen on the streets than normal days.
The drone strike came at a time when the government was all set to initiate peace talks with the Taliban to end the cycle of violence in the country that has killed at least 7,000 security personnel and nearly 40,000 people.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, in his immediate reaction, said the drone strike was aimed at sabotaging the peace talks with the Taliban.
In order to control damage, he called up Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hasan and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
"The drone attack took place at a time when the government was about to send negotiators to formally engage the Taliban in talks," media reports quoted sources as him telling the two politico-religious leaders.
Analysts say there could be a violent backlash in the form of reprisal attacks, anywhere in the country, particularly in Peshawar.
"However, the TTP may not be able to launch big attacks immediately because of the irreparable loss it has suffered. However, if the group still stages large-scale attacks, it would be an indicator of its existing strength and viability. Failure to do so would signal a beginning of the end for the terrorist outfit," Raza Khan, an analyst specialising counter-terrorism and governance, wrote in an article today.
Hakimullah, who had a USD 5 million bounty on him, died along with four others yesterday when a CIA drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in a compound in the village of Dandey Darpakhel, five kilometres north of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan.
Hakimullah, believed to be in his mid-30s, took over the reins after former Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike in August 2009.