Women of Punjab police being given a security briefing outside the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Monday. Pakistani and Sri Lankan teams will play a test match in the city from Wednesday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim
Women of Punjab police being given a security briefing outside the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Monday. Pakistani and Sri Lankan teams will play a test match in the city from Wednesday. — Photo by Mohammad Asim

RAWALPINDI: The Metro Bus Service between Rawalpindi and Islamabad will remain suspended from 9am to 10.30am and from 4pm to 6pm from Tuesday till Dec 15 as part of the security arrangements for the cricket test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi.

“The bus service will not be suspended for the whole day as it will be closed from 9am to 10.30am in from 4pm to 6pm,” Punjab Mass Transit Authority Rawalpindi-Islamabad Manager Operation Shamila Mohsin told Dawn.

The earlier schedule for closure of the bus service was changed on Monday and it is expected to be reshuffled in line with the security situation during the cricket match.

The Sri Lankan cricket team arrived at Islamabad International Airport on Monday to play a two match test series.

Metro buses between twin cities to remain off track from 9am to 10:30am and 4pm to 6pm till Dec 15

According to a senior security official, police have requested the Punjab home department for the provision of helicopters for air surveillance of the cricket stadium and its surrounding areas.

On the other hand, traders and shopkeepers of the commercial area alongside the Stadium Road (Double Road) expressed concerns over closure of the market during the match.

Foolproof security arrangements have been made for the Sri Lankan team. Security personnel will be deployed inside and outside the cricket stadium and every person entering the ground will be subjected to body search and biometric verification.

On the directives of Regional Police Officer (RPO) Suhail Habeeb Tajik, the City Traffic Police (CTP) swung into action and impounded 147 vehicles on violation of parking rules on Murree Road on Monday.

Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Mohammad Bin Ashraf said in a press release that traffic police had designated parking spaces during the test match.

The CTO said strict action would be taken against wrong parking and wardens had been directed to lift vehicles parked wrongly.

He asked motorists to cooperate with the traffic police to ensure smooth traffic flow during the match.

Security arrangements in Islamabad

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Mohammad Aamir Zulfiqar visited various areas of the capital and reviewed security arrangements for the Sri Lankan cricket team, said a press release.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (security) Waqar Ahmed Chohan, DIG (operations) Waqaruddin Syed and other officials briefed him about the arrangements.

The IGP directed both the DIGs to ensure foolproof security arrangements for the visiting team.

Police commandos have been assigned security duties during movement of the Sri Lankan cricket team and irrelevant persons would not be allowed where the team would be staying.

The IGP said Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) had issued an alternative plan to ensure smooth flow of traffic on various roads while its FM Radio 92.4 and social media were being used to disseminate messages about the situation on roads.

The capital police would maintain complete coordination with other law enforcement agencies during the visit of the team, he added.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2019