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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly candidates from Islamabad have been asked to control their activities, including campaigning for elections, and inform the concerned department including the police prior to movement.

The request was made for candidates’ safety including that of PTI Chairman Imran Khan and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, officials said, as a precautionary measure after Tuesday night’s suicide attack at the corner meeting of an Awami National Party (ANP) candidate for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

The capital administration and police have also asked candidates to seek the district magistrate’s permission for public gatherings.

They said section 144 is already imposed in the capital and will be implemented in letter and spirit.

Politicians and candidates living and moving around in the capital have also been asked to inform the police before visiting public places to meet with people.

There is no specific threat for the capital, but due to the Peshawar incident high alert has been declared, officials said, adding that miscreants or terrorists may target candidates and their campaigns to sabotage the elections and demoralise voters.

The Special Branch, which is the police’s intelligence wing, has been asked to stay active in the capital and collect information that can help the police devise a strategy for security measures.

SSP Islamabad Najeebur Rehman Bugvi when contacted said there are 52 general threats all over the country. Politicians, including candidates from the capital, are being sensitised and advisories are issued to them as precautionary measures, he said.

He said a plan has been devised that identifies the capital’s grey areas, and search and combing operations are conducted.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018