RAWALPINDI: Security will be on ‘high alert’ during the cricket Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium this week.
City Police Officer (CPO) Ahsan Younus told Dawn that the Sri Lankan cricket team has been provided security cover equivalent to that of state guests, and the police are doing everything possible to ensure security is foolproof.
“The public have to face some problems due to the tightened security, but we are revaluating our security plan to check if there are any loopholes and to facilitate people. But the police cannot compromise on security at all,” he said.
The entire commercial area, including hotels, hostels and restaurants, has been closed so there is no business activity between Public Park and Faizabad during the day until the test match ends.
Students and office workers living in the areas surrounding the stadium are facing significant problems, especially in the morning when the police close nearby streets for the cricket teams’ arrival at the stadium.
Security agencies have conducted intensive checking in and around the stadium. There is also a layered security plan around the stadium that includes the Special Branch, Elite Force, women police and the Quick Response Force.
As part of the security measures, sharpshooters were deployed on the rooftops of buildings around the stadium and extra police check points have been established in Shamsabad, 6th Road and other link roads. Every vehicle is searched before being allowed to move towards the stadium.
A total of 4,500 police officials, traffic police and army and Rangers personnel are guarding the stadium. The hotel where both teams are staying is also heavily guarded.
Four control rooms equipped with surveillance cameras and other devices have been established to monitor the teams’ movement from the hotels to the stadium. During their movement the roads leading to the stadium are closed to traffic and security personnel deployed along the route.
Helicopter surveillance also continued during the first day of the march, and everyone entering the stadium was physically searched.
The police also brought 150 children from Faizul Islam to the first day of the match along with their teachers, who were welcomed at the stadium by the CPO.
Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2019