In view of the intelligence reports citing heightened threats to government and army installations by terrorists, security in the twin cities have been enhanced.
The police, Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Rangers personnel have been deployed in the capital, and contingents of Rawalpindi police and the Punjab Constabulary (PC) have been called in for maintaining order in the garrison city during Eidul Fitr.
Over 2,000 officials of the Islamabad Police and Rangers will ensure security of mosques, imambargahs and sensitive installations during Eid holidays, while FC will be deployed at Margalla Hills and other strategic places.
Interior Minister directed the inspector-general of police and senior superintendent of police (SSP) to prepare comprehensive security and traffic plans for the capital city. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting held to review security arrangements for Eid.
The security plan includes strategies to avert terrorist attacks. Walkthrough gates and close-circuit cameras have been installed at entry and exit points of the main mosques, Eidgahs and imambargahs in the city and the bomb disposal squad will be on high alert.
The public have been asked to keep vigilant eye on suspicious persons and immediately inform the authorities about them.
All hotels, guest houses and bus terminals have been kept under surveillance.
The traffic police have made special arrangements for smooth flow of traffic during Eid congregations, especially near Faisal Mosque, where the biggest congregation will be held. “Over 200 traffic wardens will be present at mosques and imambargahs to ensure smooth flow,’’ SSP Dr Moeen Masood said.
The capital police chief has directed all station house officers to protect people’s properties in their respective areas. All major hospitals will be on high alert in case of emergency.
Rawalpindi police have also placed police on high alert and requisitioned 200 Punjab Constabulary officials for deployment in the city on Chand Raat. Officials of special branch have been assigned to counter threats during Eid.
According to the police, 2,800 men have been deputed for Chand Raat. They will perform their duties at pickets, entry points and in the main bazaars of the city all night. Closed-circuit cameras have been installed in mosques, Eidgahs and traffic signals.
The city police officer (CPO) has cancelled officials’ leaves and recalled policemen assigned to courts. On the first day of Eid, some 3,200 police officials will be on high alert to cope with any untoward incident, stated a press release issued by the CPO’s office.
Besides officials of special branch, elite force, Mohafiz will also perform special duties during the three-day festival in the city.
There will be a single entry point at open spaces designated for Eid prayers and body search will be carried out by police guards and members of peace committees.
Visitors will be screened with metal detectors and walk-through gates will be installed at crowded places, according to an official press release. Parking will not be allowed within a radius of 500 meters near the places where prayers are to be offered. The garrison city will host 3000 Eid congregations on Eid.
Keeping in view the huge rush of families in parks on Eid, police officials have been deputed at all the major parks in the garrison city.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.