Marchers to camp in Rawat till Imran’s call

Published November 18, 2022
The local administration has installed 80 temporary toilets in the Allama Iqbal Park in Shamsabad, Rawalpindi. — White Star
The local administration has installed 80 temporary toilets in the Allama Iqbal Park in Shamsabad, Rawalpindi. — White Star

• Pindi admin installs 80 bathrooms in Shamsabad park, 200 installed in Taxila
• 5,000 police officials to perform duties, PTI chief to be provided with ‘box security cover’

RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi administration has geared up security preparations to welcome the long march of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) which is likely to enter the city on Saturday following the call of party chairman Imran Khan, who has been recuperating in Lahore after a gun attack in Wazirabad left him injured earlier this month.

The marchers will remain camped at Rawat’s T-Chowk until Mr Khan announces his plan whether the march will enter Pindi via G.T. Road or take the Expressway to enter the federal capital – its original destination.

In Pindi, the preparations to provide shelter and food to the marchers are in full swing and the local administration has installed 80 temporary toilets in the Allama Iqbal Park in Shamsabad while in Taxila, at least 200 bathrooms have been set up for the marchers.

Rawalpindi Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Chairman Asif Mehmood told Dawn that the participants will enter the garrison city after the announcement of the PTI chairman. He said that the participants will stay in Rewat on Saturday. However, after the call of the party chairman, they will reach Shamsabad or Faizabad via Murree Road; or, they will use the Islamabad Expressway to enter Islamabad.

The horticulture chairman said that the preparation had been finalised by the PHA and other departments for participants. He said that the party leaders had made arrangements for the food and other facilities of the marchers.

5,000 police for security

Meanwhile, in order to finalise security for the march, the PTI leadership held meetings with the Pindi administration wherein the city managers briefed the party leaders on “foolproof security measures” taken by the administration.

In the same vein, at least 5,000 police officials will protect the long march and the leader of the march, Imran Khan, will be provided with a ‘box security cover’ if he joined the protest in the garrison city.

At least 15 sections (each consisting of five fully armed commandos, one vehicle, and a driver), of elite force and 122 commandos will also be deployed while more than 1,500 personnel, consisting of 75 reserves of police, will be on standby to deal with any emergency situation In the case of Imran Khan’s participation in the march, he will be provided with “a box security cover in the style of the security of former prime ministers”.

However, the sources said that the situation will be cleared after the guidelines of Imran Khan, expected on Saturday.

Rawalpindi CPO Shehzad Nadeem Bukhari will be supervising the security and SSP Operations Wasim Riaz Khan will be in charge of operational matters. Eight SSPs and SPs, 19 ASPs and DSPs, 253 upper subordinates, 981 lower subordinates, 66 women police personnel, 15 sections of the elite force, including 122 lower subordinates (commandos), 565 officials of the City Traffic Police will be performing active and standby duties during the march.

The Special Branch will also be tasked with sweeping the main route of the convoy while monitoring the rally through videos. Arrangements have also been made for monitoring with closed-circuit cameras in urban areas.

Expert snipers will also be deployed to strengthen security.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2022

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