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ISLAMABAD: The capital’s police department has asked the government for a Rs400 million rupee grant to cover expenses expected to be incurred by law enforecement and paramilitary troops during their engagement with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf’s (PTI) planned “siege” of Islamabad, police officials told Dawn on Thursday.

This demand, which has been sent to the interior ministry, only accounts for a 10-day deployment, officials said, adding that additional funds would be required if the sit-in is prolonged.

The letter issued in this regard came from the Central Police Office, and was addressed to the interior ministry by Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Nisar Ahmed Khan. Its subject reads: “Request for supplementary grant of Rs460.719 million in connection with tentative long march/dharna of PTI”.

In it, the AIG posits that according to reports, the PTI is planning to shut down the capital on Nov 2 and, according to statements of prominent leaders, they will be looking to assemble a large number of people for the purpose.

The available strength and resources of the capital city’s police department are insufficient to provide security and maintain law and order in Islamabad during the event, the letter states.

The capital’s police department has already requested an additional deployment of 25,000 personnel and arrangements in this regard are being made with help from the concerned authorities in Punjab, Sindh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and the Frontier Constabulary (FC).

So far, officials said, 14,000 personnel had been arranged from the FC, Punjab and Azad Kashmir police.

Similarly, the capital city’s administration, in response to the police request, has asked that the community centres in sectors G-6 and G-9, the Hajj Complex and the Sports Complex be provided to lodge the additional manpower that will be summoned to the capital.

Funds will be required for the force summoned to Islamabad for expenses such as transportation, meals, placing of containers and roadblocks along with other related requirements, sources said.

In addition, the police department has complained about the non-payment of funds to the tune of Rs51 million, which were spent the last time the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek staged a dharna on Constitution Avenue in 2014.

“It is pointed out that a liability of Rs53.319 million relating to previous dharna/protest is also outstanding/payable [to] Islamabad police, for which funds have already been demanded,” the letter reads.

It breaks down the expected costs under various heads. It asks for Rs10.7 million in terms of rent for residential buildings, Rs18.56 million for fuel charges, Rs1 million for stationery, Rs64.2 million for hiring vehicles, Rs5 million for miscellaneous expenses, Rs93 million for food and Rs 268.3million for other expenditures.

The letter asks that the interior ministry approach the finance ministry for the provision of additional funds through a supplementary grant of Rs460 million, along with an advance amount of Rs50 million.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2016