The Red Zone, home to important government offices, was sealed late on Wednesday before the Prime Minister’s (PM) contempt of court verdict in the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday.
PM Yousaf Raza Gilani is scheduled to appear before the court along with his cabinet and all provincial chief ministers. Police have deputed extra contingents of riot police on the Constitution Avenue in anticipation of a possible law and order situation following the verdict in contempt case.
All entry and exit points leading to Constitution Avenue were sealed after midnight. Only government employees would be allowed to proceed to their offices after proof of identity. They have also been asked to arrive before 8am. No official would be allowed in after that time, police said.
An interior ministry official said special security cameras have also been installed in courtrooms in addition to public entry gates and Supreme Court reception areas. The official added that Rangers would assist police in maintaining law and order following the verdict.
According to a statement issued by the SC registrar, entry into the courtroom, where Justice Nasirul Mulk will conduct the case proceedings, will be restricted. The passes would only be issued to petitioners, respondents, their counsels, beat journalists and spectators, depending on availability of seats, the statement said. No cell phone will be allowed inside the court. The Constitution Avenue will remain sealed until after the verdict.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.