ISLAMABAD: The capital administration on Friday banned all types of gatherings, especially activities related to the upcoming local government elections, for two weeks and declared high alert in the city for 48 hours.
According to a notification issued from the office of Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon, “In light of recent advisories/threat alerts issued by the law enforcement agencies and today’s attack on police, the security of Islamabad has been beefed up to obviate the threats within the jurisdiction of capital which can disrupt peace and tranquility causing damage to public life and property. However, the likelihood of such activities cannot be ruled out in coming days.”
Keeping in view the prevailing situation, the deputy commissioner imposed a ban on all kinds of corner meetings, public gatherings and congregations, especially in the wake of the upcoming local government elections. The order came into force with immediate effect and shall remain in force for two weeks.
Meanwhile, security in the capital was put on high alert and a crackdown launched against vehicles with applied-for and unauthorised registration plates, police said.
Law enforcement agencies in twin cities told not to be oblivious to their own security
Teams deployed for patrolling and at pickets were asked to take strict action against those carrying and displaying weapons. Besides, they were told to check and verify the identification documents of people and vehicles.
Directives were also issued to the police stations to check and ensure the registration of maids, house servants and tenants.
Checking and inspection of guest houses, hotels, motels and inns has also been started while wooded areas, slums and nullahs were being combed.
Following the recent wave of terrorism and Friday’s suicide bombing in the federal capital territory, the law enforcement agencies have been directed not to be oblivious to their own security and ensure using bulletproof jackets, security vehicles and vantage points.
The federal government had already directed the authorities concerned across the country to take precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incident as militants may accelerate their activities in coming days to avenge the killing of their commanders.
Following the suicide bombing in the capital in which a police official was martyred, the security level has been raised to high alert in the twin cities.
Earlier, the federal government had directed the chief secretaries of all provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as well as the chief commissioner of Islamabad to take appropriate security measures to avoid any untoward incident amid reports of continued arrival of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in areas bordering Afghanistan and the interior of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In the wake of the Bannu incident and other terrorist activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Punjab police chief issued a guideline to all divisional police heads to ensure strengthened security on the eve of Quaid-i-Azam’s birthday, Christmas and New Year.
According to the IGP’s guidelines, law enforcement agencies were on top of the spectrum of threats by terrorist groups, therefore, the police should not be unaware of their own security.
“Hence all precautionary measures including scattered deployment, alertness of security vehicles, use of vantage points, use of bulletproof jackets must be ensured for target hardening,” the guidelines said.
Regional Police Officer (RPO) Nasir Mehmood Satti, in a statement, said the security level had been placed on high alert and all district police officers (DPOs) of Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal as well as the city police officer Rawalpindi had been directed to ensure foolproof security especially around churches and at exit and entry points.
As part of tightened security, suspicious persons and vehicles should be closely monitored at special checkpoints and search and combing operations should be accelerated, the RPO said.
He said police at the checkposts should ensure checking according to the proposed standard operating procedures and stay in the field and brief the police personnel.
Security of property is the top priority which will be ensured by utilising all possible resources, he added.
On the other hand, the CPO Rawalpindi held a video link meeting with the SP security, SPs, DSPs and SHOs and issued directives to review security. He directed the police to ensure security of important installations, worship places, hospitals and public gatherings.
Published in Dawn, December 24th, 2022