ISLAMABAD: The local administration has declared tomorrow (Monday) a holiday in order to reduce possible inconvenience to the public caused by the visit of the Saudi crown prince.
Essential service organisations, such as the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad, Capital Development Authority, police, Islamabad Electric Supply Company, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines and hospitals will remain open, but all government offices on Constitution Avenue will be closed except to essential staff.
The National Assembly has rescheduled its Feb 18 session, and the offices at the Senate Secretariat will also be closed.
However, the Supreme Court will remain open and will hear cases as per its cause list, a spokesperson said.
The Ministry of Interior will facilitate lawyers, litigants and SC staff at points of entry to reach the court premises.
Govt offices on Constitution Avenue, educational institutions and offices to be closed on second day of Saudi royal’s visit
Officials said Monday was declared a holiday by the deputy commissioner in order to reduce inconvenience to the public.
Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is scheduled to arrive in the capital with hundreds of delegates in tow on Sunday for a two-day visit. Stringent security arrangements have been announced ahead of the visit, including restricted entry into the Red Zone and the closure of parts of the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road between the airport and the Red Zone.
The metro bus service will be suspended between Blue Area and Pak Secretariat as well.
Officials said schools, colleges and offices will be closed on Monday.
A notification issued by the office of the district magistrate stated: “18 February 2019 (Monday) is declared as local holiday within the revenue limits of Islamabad Capital Territory except the offices of essential services in Islamabad including MCI, CDA, ICT administration, ICT police, Iesco, SNGPL and hospitals.”
The Ministry of Interior also announced that all federal government and secretariat offices on Constitution Avenue will be closed except for “essential staff of the ministries/division/departments i.e. Ministry of Interior, Finance, Cabinet, Foreign Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, Commerce & Trade, Board of Investment, President Secretariat and Prime Minister’s Office.”
The Ministry of Federal Education issued a notification stating that in pursuance of the district administration’s notification “all private educational institutions operating within the territorial jurisdiction of Islamabad capital territory shall remain closed on Monday, 18-02-2019.”
A National Assembly spokesperson said the lower house has rescheduled its Monday session for Wednesday, Feb 20.
The spokesperson said the National Assembly speaker announced a holiday for assembly officials as the Red Zone will be sealed for the crown prince’s visit.
The Senate chairman also decided that all Senate Secretariat offices would be closed Monday in connection with the prince’s visit, a circular issued by the Senate Secretariat said.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2019