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Seminaries near parade ground told to close

Updated February 25, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Religious seminaries, shrines, hotels and marriage halls located in the proximity of three kilometres to the parade ground in Faizabad have been directed to remain closed from March 18 to 24.

Besides, the Capital Development Authority has been asked to block the tracks along with paths of Margallah Hills.

The directions were issued to ensure security for the parade ground ahead of Pakistan Day.

Officials quoted a notification as stating: “In view of the sensitivity and security requirements of the Joint Services Pakistan Day parade 2016 on March 23, it is requested that all madresahs and shrines in close proximity (three kilometres) of the venue may be vacated and closed from March 18-24.”

The officials said last year the same practice was adopted to ensure foolproof security for the military parade.

But the decision to close the Margallah Hills tracks and paths this year has been taken keeping in view the prevailing security situation.

There are about 50 religious seminaries and shrines located in close proximity to the venue, the officials said. Moreover, about 20 hotels and marriage halls are also located in the same area, including Islamabad Expressway, Park Road, Murree Road and Khayaban-i-Suhrawardy.

A list of all the seminaries and shrines would be handed over to assistant commissioners and magistrates to ensure their closure during the period.

After the evacuation of the students and teachers, the seminaries will be taken into custody and policemen will be deputed there to avoid the presence of anyone inside, they added.

The officials said the managements of the hotels and marriage halls were asked to reschedule their events.

They added that the local administration officials will start meeting the managements of seminaries, shrines, marriage halls and hotels to get the directions implemented.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2016