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ISLAMABAD: The police’s intelligence wing has been directed to collect reports on the reactions and future activities of opposition parties, particularly the PPP in light of former president Asif Ali Zardari’s arrest.

Special Branch officials across the city are gathering intelligence on local PPP leaders and active workers, capital administration and police officials said, adding that they have also been tasked with monitoring politicians’ social media activity.

Separate teams have been formed in this regard, they said, and officials collecting intelligence are on high alert in areas where the PPP has previously been elected to the National Assembly.

Station house officers have also been asked to collect intelligence and pass it on to the concerned police officials, and directed to carry out patrols and maintain law and order in their areas.

They said these measures were taken in light of Mr Zardari’s arrest, as he will be produced in the accountability court by the National Accountability Bureau to seek his remand today (Tuesday).

Officials said the measures were taken to maintain law and order and counter any violence or mob-like situation, and to prevent political workers and activists from gathering.

Rangers and police, including the Counter Terrorism Force and commandoes, have been deployed at important buildings and the capital’s exits, and a contingent has been deployed at key points in order to respond quickly if called in to deal with a law and order situation.

Around 570 police officials, including two superintendents of police (SP) and five assistant and deputy superintendents of police have been deployed around the accountability court, and the G-11 street leading to the court has been closed off.

The SP headquarters has been asked for riot gear and logistical support, and to depute an armoured personnel carrier according to the security plan along with a sufficient number of tear gas shells. He has also been asked to depute prison vans with 100 handcuffs in each vehicle.

The tear gas in-charge was asked to provide two vehicles with a sufficient number of long and short range teargas on standby at designated spots, including the ICT Complex car park in G-11.

The SP headquarters was also asked to deploy a water cannon vehicle at the complex.

Assistant commissioners and magistrates have been asked to block roads and entry points if needed with the help of the local police and provided a contingent.

There will also be a deployment around the route taken to bring Mr Zardari to court. Officials said the measures put in place will remain in place for the next few days.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2019