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ISLAMABAD: The capital police are preparing separate lists of officials on the basis of their age for performing duty during the proposed protest of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the city.

Sources in the police told Dawn that the concerned wings of the police - establishment and headquarters - had been asked to prepare two lists of officials from the rank of constable to inspector: one consisting of those below the age of 50 years and the second above 50.

After identifying the officials on the basis of their age, they would be given duties during the PTI protest/sit-in. The officials above the age of 50 would be deployed in police stations and buildings except those located in the Red Zone. They would also perform patrolling and picket duties away from the Red Zone and the area given to the PTI for the protest. They will be responsible to run the routine business of the police stations, including maintaining police registers besides attending emergency calls.

The personnel below the age of 50 will be tasked with maintaining peace during the protest.

A police officer, when contacted, told Dawn on the condition of anonymity that keeping in view the previous experience regarding the sit-ins jointly staged by the PTI and PAT, senior police officers decided to devise the new strategy. He said officials below the age of 50 had more strength and stamina compared to the aged officials to deal with any situation.

“Officials below the age of 50 will perform better as compared to those who are older,” he said, adding the officials below the age of 50 would be further categorised.

There is also a proposal to form three categories of the officials: below the age of 30, 40 and 50 years. Officials in these categories will make three layers of security. The youngest (below 30 years) would lead from the front if any decision was made to intercept the participants of the protest. But the officer expressed the fear that replacing the officials in police stations with those above the age of 50 might hamper policing, epically investigation of different cases.

“It is not clear how long the PTI will continue its protest in the city,” he stated.

Published in Dawn October 22nd, 2016