The capital police on Saturday geared up in light of the political developments in the country and deployed additional police personnel in different areas of the city.
As the political situation in Lahore heats up vis-à-vis the Tahirul Qadri saga as well as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s “Azadi March” scheduled for August 14, the Islamabad Police remained busy on Saturday and high-ups held meetings to formulate a strategy for Independence Day.
Late in the night, the Red Zone was completely sealed and soldiers of Pakistan Army were deployed around it.
A senior police official who attended the meeting said the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration has formulated a strategy. The official added that 5,000 police personnel have reached the federal capital from Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab and will be lodged in different government schools of the city.
Besides that, the capital’s own 12,000 police officers will be deployed at various locations.
The official said police also decided to block different roads leading towards the Red Zone, adding that containers were already placed at entry points of the city and the road leading to Murree through Bhara Kahu was also sealed.
Police are likely to block other important roads leading towards D-Chowk in the next 24 hours.
During the meeting, police high-ups directed officers to arrest activists of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) if they resist as they are suspected of fomenting trouble in the twin cities if left unchecked.
According to the official, the ICT Administration is closely monitoring the situation in Punjab where police blocked GT Road and clashes were reported between police and PAT workers.
On the other hand, despite the imposition of Section 144 in the capital, activists of PTI held a token rally at Aabpara Chowk.
Hundreds of activists led by Asad Umar assembled at Aabpara Chowk and marched towards Melody Park, however, police remained silent spectators and did not take any action against them.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2014.