The road to peace may be paved with good intentions, but the road to Kotkai, in South Waziristan, is blocked with containers.
The district administration, on Saturday, blocked the main road towards Kotkai at the Manjee Khel security check post, located about 10 kilometres east of Tank, by placing around 10 containers.
South Waziristan’s Political Agent Shahidullah Khan had already warned that the rally would not be allowed to enter South Waziristan on grounds of security.
Around 15 other routes leading to Kotkai from Tank and South Waziristan were also sealed off by the district and political administration of South Waziristan.
Security central concern
Security has been the central cause of concern for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s ‘Peace March.’
In preparation, the district administration imposed an emergency in DI Khan. Security remained on high alert, while the district police chief called in additional police force from the adjacent districts of Bannu and Lakki Marwat.
Rally participants stayed the night in DI Khan, before heading to Kotkai. Around 2,000 policemen, 500 Frontier Constabulary personnel, and bomb disposal squad personnel were deployed to ensure security for the night-long stay in DI Khan. Likewise, emergency will be also imposed and security put on high alert in Tank district today (Sunday).
All the staff at the District Headquarters Hospital has been directed to remain on duty on Sunday (today). Around 1,000 policemen and 700 additional forces will be deployed. Similarly, 400 FC personnel along with levies force were also deployed.
PTI’s own security
Imran Khan’s party has also taken its own elaborate security plan termed ‘3-ring’. According to details, the first ring consists of youth from the Insaf Students Federation (ISF), which has been was tasked to provide security to Khan and other guests. The second and third protection rings were assigned to the security forces.
The PTI constituted a security team comprising tribesmen from the Mehsud, Wazir, Bittani and Shiranee tribes of South Waziristan, but they will be unarmed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2012.