Security arrangements: 7,000 cops to be on duty for Benazir’s death anniversary

PPP leaders, supporters to converge on Garhi Khuda Buksh for rally

Our Correspondent December 25, 2016
Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: As threats of terrorism loom near, 7,000 police officials and personnel will perform security duty on the occasion of the ninth death anniversary of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, which will be held tomorrow (Tuesday) in Garhi Khuda Buksh. The Sindh police have finalised the security plan for the event.

Sources in the police said that there are threats of terrorism, as intelligence agencies have warned of a possible terrorist attack on the occasion of Benazir's death anniversary, particularly in Garhi Khuda Buksh where a large number of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) supporters or 'jiyalas' and leaders, including party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, will attend.

Intelligence agencies have also asked authorities and law enforcement agencies concerned to take extra security measures ahead of time to avoid any untoward incidents.

The personnel and the commandos of the Rapid Response Force (RRF), Special Security Unit (SSU) and Sindh Reserve Police (SRP) will also perform security duties along with the officials and personnel of various districts of Sindh, including Hyderabad, Thatta, Badin and the Police Training Centre, Shahdadpur. Female police officers will also perform security duty, said a report compiled by the police department.

While reviewing the security arrangements, acting Sindh IG Mushtaq Maher ordered the police officials concerned to make sure that extraordinary arrangements are made during the death anniversary of the slain PPP chairperson at Garhi Khuda Buksh, as high-profile personalities will attend the anniversary. The acting IG also directed that security be enhanced at the Naudero Railway Station and main arteries of Garhi Khuda Buksh, along with sweeping by the bomb disposal squad along the routes.

"Snap checking and patrolling should also be increased," ordered Maher. "Security and traffic issues should be [resolved] in consultation with the [district] administration," he said.

Sources privy to the security arrangements said that 32 senior superintendents of police (SSPs) and 71 deputy superintendents of police will control the security of the event, while seven SPs will control the traffic. Close-circuit television cameras will also be installed to monitor the situation.

The Sindh government has already declared December 27 as a public holiday on account of the death anniversary of the former prime minister. All offices, autonomous or semi-autonomous, working under the Sindh government will remain closed, as per the notification released by the provincial government on Friday.

Bilawal and Zardari will address the rally at Garhi Khuda Buksh where, according to party leaders, important announcements will be made. The PPP's central executive committee (CEC) meeting will also be held to discuss the Panama papers case and others issues.

"The CEC meeting will decide the fate of the movement against the government," said information adviser to the Sindh chief minister Maula Bux Chandio. He added that it will be a historic event where thousands of people will gather to pay tribute to Benazir Bhutto.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 26th, 2016.


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