Terror threat: Minar-i-Pakistan off limits to visitors

Barbed wire placed around the monument

Barbed wires have been placed around the minar. PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK/EXPRESS

LAHORE: The Minar-i-Pakistan remained off limits to visitors on Tuesday over a terrorism threat.

A police contingent cordoned off the monument. Pakistan Rangers also patrolled the premises.

Requesting anonymity, a police official said that Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had threatened to carry out a bomb attack.

Barbed wire has been placed on both sides of the newly-installed steel fence around Minar-i-Pakistan. Another ring of barbed wire is placed at a distance of 100 metres from the site.

Read: Pakistan will respond to any destabilisation attempt forcefully: Maleeha Lodhi

More than 20 policemen, including four snipers, have been deputed at the site since June 8.

The police official said that more than 300 feet of barbed wire had been added to the security fence around Iqbal Park. “However, the barbed wire does not entirely cover the fence. Visitors have been scaling the fence to visit Minar-i-Pakistan. It takes 30 seconds to get to the Minar-i-Pakistan once they are beyond the fence,” he said. He said that visitors to Iqbal Park were not being allowed now to go near Minar-i-Pakistan. “They (visitors) are stopped at distance of 200 metres.

The park staff or policemen mostly tell people that there is construction work going on, lights are being installed or the lift is not working,” he said.

Read: Managing the terror threat

Talking to The Express Tribune, Lubna, a visitor to the park, said that she had brought her three children to visit the park. “I had promised to show them Minar-i-Pakistan during the summer vacations. However, when we approached the monument, a policeman told us not to go any further. When I asked him why we were not being allowed to proceed further, they said that some construction work was going on,” she said.

City SP Asad Sarfraz Khan said that he could not confirm whether a threat against the monument had been received from any banned outfit.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2015.


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