ISLAMABAD: Prime minister in-waiting Imran Khan was provided VVIP security protocol, meant for the head of government, on Thursday.

Senior police officers said he was given the protocol after the PTI won a majority in the National Assembly in the July 25 elections, as he would likely be the next prime minister.

In light of this, security measures were mounted around Mr Khan and his Banigala residence, they said. Senior police officers including Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Waqar Ahmed Chohan visited Mr Khan’s Banigala home and met with the official in charge of his security as well as PTI leader Naeemul Haq.

The police team assessed the residence and the area around it, including the hills, officers said.

They said there is no standard operating procedure for the prime minister in-waiting, but because Mr Khan is likely to be the next prime minister security measures have been mounted around him, his home and places where he will go.

Concertina wire will also be fixed on the gates and walls of the house, around which the police are being deployed, especially at the front side, in three rings. An ambulance, with paramedics, and fire-tenders have also been stationed outside his home.

Foot patrols have been ordered around his residence, the road leading to it and the green areas nearby, officers said. A separate team of police personnel on motorcycles will also patrol the area.

In addition, it has been suggested to establish a Rangers observation post in the hills, at points from which Mr Khan’s residence is visible. Islamabad Traffic Police have also been deployed on roads leading to his home to prevent congestion or blocked roads and ensure that traffic flows smoothly, they said.

There was also a security audit of the Banigala house by senior personnel, they said, to make the area secure enough for a VVIP. Further steps will be taken on recommendations made in the audit report.

Mr Khan has been provided a police escort that includes three vehicles of commandos during his movement, which will cover him from the front and rear.

His security team in-charge was asked to give prior detail of his movement so security can be heightened at his destination and on the way, and the security team was also briefed on security and given advice in this regard.

Naeemul Haq assured the police of full cooperation during their meeting, officers said.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2018

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