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Capital braces for Fata protest

December 12, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The capital police and administration got a brief respite on Monday after a large contingent of protesters from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, who were marching towards the capital to press for their demands, dispersed before they could reach the city.

But the march, which is meant to protest the inordinate delays in finalising the merger of the tribal areas and KP under the Fata Reforms Package, has not been called off and will restart today (Tuesday).

Officials of the capital administration and police said that preparations were underway to ensure the safety and security of the marchers and the residents of Islamabad.

The strength of the gathering was estimated to be around 2,000, officials said, adding that it may increase to 5,000 by the time the marchers reach Islamabad.

According to information collected by police, the demonstrators had reached Attock on Monday night and dispersed somewhere between Attock and Taxila.

A contingent of around 1,550 personnel, including three SPs, eight ASPs/DSPs, 24 inspectors, 64 ASIs/SIs and 300 FC personnel would be deployed in and around the capital, including at Faizabad, by 9am.

The roads of capital are likely to remain open and there is no plan to block any of them, officials said, adding that access to the Red Zone would be curtailed.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2017