Amid tight security arrangements, the first procession of nearly 800 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf supporters set out for Islamabad at 3pm from the motorway toll plaza on Thursday.
Large contingents of uniformed policemen and those in plain clothes had been deployed along the route to the toll plaza to ensure security and law and order.
An official of the Chamkani police told The Express Tribune that security arrangements made by the police were foolproof.
He, however, maintained the security arrangements were not for the processions. “We are not escorting the PTI activists; we have simply deployed men at the toll plaza as well as along the roads leading to it because it is the assembling place for a procession,” an official of the Chamkani police told The Express Tribune.
He added there was no threat to the processions leaving Peshawar. “Security across the province has been beefed up because of Independence Day,” he said.
Divide and secure
According to the policeman, the province had earlier been divided into 26 security zones. Each zone was assigned to a deputy commissioner who would be responsible for securing his designated area with the help of local police.
“A control room has been established inside the Home and Tribal Affairs department to monitor these 26 zones round the clock on Independence Day,” he said.
Special security arrangements were also in place for key government buildings, including the Bacha Khan International Airport as well as Radio Pakistan, Pakistan Television (PTV), provincial assembly, high court buildings.
“Furthermore, as a precautionary measure, hospitals have been put on high alert to cope with any emergency,” the policeman added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th,2014.