Islamabad: Pakistani police on Wednesday claimed that they had foiled an attempt to attack Parliament during President Asif Ali Zardari's address there by arresting a suspected terrorist.

The suspect was arrested three days before the presidential address yesterday to a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate, security officials told Dawn News channel.

The suspect told police that the attack was to be carried out during the President's address.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik said security in the capital was beefed up after authorities learnt of the planned attack.

During the speech, Zardari vowed to "fight militants to the finish" but warned that such a campaign could be "long and bitter."

Authorities had put in place an extensive security blanket for the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament.

A high alert was sounded in Islamabad to ensure foolproof security in Parliament.

Hours after Zardari made his first speech to Parliament on September 20, 2008 and pledged to fight terrorism, pro-Taliban militants had carried out one of the deadliest suicide attacks by targeting the Marriott Hotel located at a short distance from the Parliament building.

(Agencies)