ISLAMABAD: A high level meeting chaired Monday by Interior Minister Rehman Malik reviewed overall security arrangements made for holy month of Muharram and directed all Provincial Home Secretaries and IGs Police to meet with religious leaders and issue joint declarations to promote sectarian harmony in the country.
In the meeting it was decided that security forces would identify sensitive areas where mourning processions will be taken out, while no sectarian leader would be allowed to make speech fanning sectarianism.
The meeting appealed all religious leaders to avoid passing of any remarks, which may hurt feelings of others, saying “Let us respect each others’ Aqeedas (beliefs) for the sake of Islam and Pakistan.”
It was also decided that high powered committees comprising notable Shia, Sunni, political and religious leaders would be formed in all provinces. Snipers and sharp shooters will be deployed in tension ridden areas and aerial vigilance continue from 1st to 10th of Muharram. Additionally, it was decided that curfew would be imposed in “tense areas” to ensure peace, tranquility and avoid any untoward incident. The Army will also be kept on stand-by to tackle any untoward incident.
An Operation Room of National Crisis Management Cell would coordinate with the provinces, share real time intelligence and operate round-the-clock during Muharrum. Police patrolling will be enhanced in all provinces, Islamabad Capital Territory, Gilgit Baltistan & AJK.
The meeting was attended by Secretary Interior, all Provincial Home Secretaries, Inspector Generals of Police, Director Generals Punjab & Sindh Rangers, Inspector Generals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Balochistan FCs, Chief Commissioner, IG Islamabad Police and representatives of intelligence agencies.
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