RAWALPINDI: Due to new restrictions on vehicular movement around the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), where ex-president Pervez Musharraf is under treatment, artificially created bottlenecks are testing the patience of the garrison city’s residents.
After receiving intelligence reports, the administration has closed one lane of the four-lane Mall Road from the State Life building to MH Chowk, by placing cement blocks and barriers, causing a massive traffic jam. Due to heavy traffic, particularly after school hours, long queues can be seen on Mall Road.
“Yes, due to the new traffic restriction, motorists are facing problems. The administration took this decision in view of a security threat,” said Rawalpindi City Traffic Officer (CTO) Ishtiaq Hussain Shah. Traffic wardens are trying to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.
“Instead of placing barricades on roads to intercept terrorists, our law enforcement agencies should enhance their intelligence capability,” said Tahir Usman, a motorist stuck near AFIC.
Sources said a group of terrorists had been deputed to unleash terror on people, one of whom was assigned to bomb a Rabiul Awwal procession anywhere in the twin cities, but due to stringent security measures, he could not execute the plan.
It is now feared that he might possibly target AFIC. To avert any attack, security was beefed up around the hospital and the adjacent area. A picket manned jointly by the army and the Elite Force has also been established adjacent to AFIC.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2014.
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