PESHAWAR/DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Nov 12: Army will be on standby and the entire security apparatus will be press into action to ensure security during Muharram amid credible intelligence reports of sabotage to stir up sectarian violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, according to a senior official.
“There is a lot of credible intelligence and the threat is credible,” the official told Dawn. He said that the threat was not only from militants but also from what he called ‘third party’ anti-state elements to foment sectarian violence during Muharram.
“Leaders from Sunni and Shia sects have been sensitised about this," the official said, requesting he not be named. He said that security plans had been worked out at district levels and duties assigned to police, Frontier Corps and Frontier Constabulary to ensure peace and security during the holy month.
"In addition, we will have aerial surveillance,” the official said. He added that government had identified sensitive areas throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while Peshawar City would be completely sealed off. “We have issued a set of 40 instructions to all the districts,” he said, adding that peace committees had also been formed to ensure sectarian harmony.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti has said that a security plan has been chalked out in consultation with religious scholars and public representatives to observe Muharram peacefully in the province.
He said that forces would be deployed in those areas where they were required, according to the plan finalised by police, FC, security forces and other law enforcement agencies.
Addressing the Amn Jirga in connection with arrangements for peaceful observance of Muharram at Chief Minister’s House on Monday, Mr Hoti said that steps were taken to maintain law and order during Muharram.
The jirga were attended by provincial ministers, lawmakers, administrative officers and religious scholars belonging to different sects and factions.
The chief minister said that all people should get united for battling the enemies and establishment of peace. He said that there would be no problem if each sect respected the other. He said that the task could be performed better by ulema and elders. “None of us is enemy to peace. We all want peace but external forces are destroying our peaceful environment,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that the government had gallantly fought the enemies and never lost patience and morale. He said that government was committed to defeating the enemies.
“We have sworn to protect our motherland and that is why we will not flee the battlefield. ANP has roots in people,” the minister claimed.
Mohammad Javed Ibrahim Paracha, Allama Khursheed Anwar Jawadi, Hussain Ahmad Madani and others also addressed the jirga.
They praised the government for making consultations on law and order during Muharram. They said that the enemies of state targeted mosques, Imambargahs and bazaars. “We can fight them through unity,” they added. They also presented suggestions and recommendations for establishment of peace, religious harmony and maintenance of law and order during Muharram. Meanwhile, police have finalised a security plan for observance of peaceful Muharram in Dera Ismail Khan district.
According to the security plan, chalked out in the supervision of DPO Sohail Khan, the district has been divided into six different sectors.
DSP Abdul Ghafoor Khan will be in-charge of sector I, DSP Nadeem Saddiqi will supervise sector II, DSP Abdul Hai Babar will be in-charge of sector III, DSP Bahawal Khan will be responsible for maintaining peace in sector IV, DSP Salahuddin Kundi will supervise sector V and DSP Iqbal Khan will be in-charge of sector VI.
A control room has been set up in the police lines to monitor activities of religious groups in the district during Muharram.
According to the plant, all shops of arms will remain closed from 1st of Muharram. Police will be deployed at 34 different points and CCTV cameras will be installed at different places.