ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to make every effort not to let the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insafis (PTI) marchers into Islamabad following the party chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan’s announcement to lead a massive march onto the federal capital tomorrow (Wednesday).
A senior official of the Ministry of Interior said that a decision had been taken at the highest level that every effort would be made to restrict the entry of the marchers into Islamabad by sealing all the entry and exit points of the city.
He said it had also been decided to summon additional police contingents and paramilitary personnel from Punjab as well as to seal the Red Zone to prevent the protesters from getting into the Constitution Avenue which hosted many important government buildings, including the Parliament House, the Supreme Court, the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Diplomatic Enclave, and many other sensitive buildings. In a statement, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the government would not allow the PTI to succeed in holding of its march onto Islamabad.
“Those, who are responsible for the destruction of the country’s economy, are now threatening to take to the streets to prevent the measures to be undertaken for the recovery of the economy,” the interior minister said.
He warned that the lawbreakers would be dealt with an iron hand. “Imran Niazi is a “liar”, “gangs and hooligans” will not be tolerated…Chaos and anarchy are the elements inherent in Niazi’s nature,” he maintained.
During his 126-day long sit-in in 2014, he added that Imran Khan and his party supporters attacked state property by creating a law and order situation. “He [Imran Khan] “lied” in 2014 as well and nobody trusts him, as he has a history of taking U-turns,” he said in reference to the PTI chairman’s announcement that the protest would be peaceful. He further warned that the law would take its course if Imran Khan tried to undermine democracy. “The law will take its course if they try to take the law into their own hands,” he warned.
Following the recommendations of the capital police, the police said it had been decided to seal the Red Zone with shipping containers and barbed wires. “Sealing of Red Zone will start from Monday night and only one exit and entry point will remain open for necessary movement within the Red Zone,” a senior official of the ICT police said.
He said the additional contingent of police and FC personnel would start arriving in the capital on Monday tonight.
A total of 22,000 security personnel would be deployed including 8,000 personnel of the Punjab constabulary and 2,000 anti-riot force of the Punjab Police. Around 2,000 police personnel have also been summoned from Sindh and 4,000 Rangers will perform their duties in the federal capital.
The government has also kept 100 prisoner vans on reserve and other anti-riot gear.
Meanwhile, capital police further strengthened security in the city on Monday and enhanced patrolling as well as random checking of motorists especially on public transport.
The capital police have also set up a monitoring cell through Safe City cameras which monitor vehicles coming from other cities into the capital city. The city police have also cancelled the leaves of the police personnel.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022