KARACHI: Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah said that last year he had vowed to organise the Pakistan Super League (PSL) final in Karachi and now he has kept his promise, therefore all the concerned agencies, institutions and people of Karachi have to work together to make the event memorable and historic so that international cricket events can always be held in the city.
This he said while presiding over a meeting to review arrangements for the forthcoming PSL final match in Karachi. The meeting was attended by the provincial home, health, local government and sports ministers, chief secretary, Rangers director-general, inspector-general (IG), principal secretary to the CM, Karachi commissioner, health, home and sports secretaries, mayor, additional IG Karachi, representatives of all the intelligence agencies, representatives of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), National Stadium general manager and other concerned officials.
The final is scheduled to be played on March 25 in Karachi.
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Giving guidelines, the CM said that there should be close coordination between the stakeholders and an integration of all security-related departments and agencies. "I have already issued directives for provision of civic facilities," he said, emphasising on the need for public convenience, beautification and a festive atmosphere in the city.
IG Allah Dino Khawaja told the CM that he had sent a team to Lahore to observe the security arrangements for the international cricket match played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on October 29 last year. With some improvements, the same security model is being implemented in Karachi.
The CM constituted different committees and assigned them different tasks. The executive committee, headed by the chief secretary, would go over all monitoring. There should also be an intelligence/security committee and civic issues related committee, the CM said. The security committee includes police, Rangers, army and intelligence agency officers, who will share their intelligence reports among themselves on a daily basis.
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The CM directed the civic agency, which is under the local government minister and mayor, to make arrangements for provision of lighting, drinking water, parking sites, cleanliness and medical facilities.
It was decided in the meeting that aerial surveillance would be provided by the Karachi corps commander. Commandoes would be deployed around the stadium and the police will take control inside the stadium, he said.
The chief minister directed the health secretary to talk to Aga Khan Hospital and Liaquat National Hospital for provision of special health services as well. He directed the IG to identify and declare alternative traffic routes for public convenience. "We have to facilitate each and every person who wants to watch the match at the stadium," he said, adding that he was sure there should be foolproof security arrangements in the entire city, particularly from the airport to the hotels and the hotels to the stadium.
This extraordinary security plan should not cause inconvenience among the citizens. "Let the citizens enjoy the event in a festive manner - it is their event and they [the people of Karachi] will cooperate with the law enforcement agencies," the CM hoped.
He was told that there was a capacity of 40,000 spectators in the stadium.
The law enforcement agencies will conduct a dress rehearsal on Sunday at 10am. The CM decided to convene another meeting on February 14 to review the security arrangements.
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