RAWALPINDI: In line with government’s directives, the police have started a surveillance of people belonging to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and considering issuing them chip-based national identity cards equipped with security features.

A senior police official told Dawn that strict surveillance of more than 5,400 people belonging to the tribal areas and living in the Rawalpindi division had been started. He said the police were also considering containing them to a specific place so that they could be keep under a watch.

He said the whereabouts of all such individuals were being gathered in Rawalpindi and three other districts. Of the total individuals from the tribal areas, 4,300 were living/doing business in the Rawalpindidistrict, 610 in Attock, 245 in Jhelum and 280 in Chakwal.

Police considering issuing them chip-based national identity cards equipped with added security features

“The objective of compiling the data of all such individuals is to keep vigilance on them,” the senior police official said. “Police are also considering containing them to a specific place and issuing them chip-based identity cards.”

He said the police were also getting biometric verifications of suspicious people during the joint operation being conducted by the army, police and intelligence agencies after the fresh wave of terrorist attacks in the country.

“Any individual found without the national identity card is detained by the police,” he said.

Separately, the police sealed seven bus stands in Pirwadhai for the lack of security arrangements in accordance with the standard operating procedure on Monday night. But the police withdrew from bus stands after about 12 hours.

Haji Zahoor Ahmed, the chairman of the transport union, told Dawn that the police started raiding the private bus stands on Monday night and sealed seven bus stands except the general bus terminal.

He said one of the private bus stands that were sealed had 16 close circuit television cameras (CCTV), four armed security guards and other arrangements as directed by the police.

Due to the sealing of the bus stands, hundreds of people had to face trouble as they kept on shuttling between Pirwadhai, Faizabad and Soan bus stands to reach their destinations. After observing the situation, the police unsealed the bus stands.

Mr Ahmed said when the attention of senior police officials was drawn towards the Pirwadhai general bus stand, which lacked proper security measures, they only said it was a government bus stand.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2017


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