RAWALPINDI: The Nur Khan Airbase Authorities have asked the Regional Police Officer (RPO) and City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi to ensure the security of the airbase, funnel area and flight path by imposing ban on firing in jubilation, pigeon and kite flying and drone flying during rehearsal for the March 23 Pakistan Day parade to avoid any untoward incident.

According to sources, the Nur Khan Airbase authorities have sent a letter to Regional Police Officer Rawalpindi Syed Khurram Ali and City Police Officer Rawalpindi Syed Khalid Hamdani, in which special security arrangements have been recommended with reference to the Pakistan Day parade.

The senior police officers were informed that the preparation and rehearsal of the flypast for the March 23 parade is going on from the first week of March. During the flypast, activity of firing in the air, pigeon and kite flying and use of drones can be very dangerous for the planes and flight safety, flight path and funnel.

A security survey should also be conducted to detect such activities near the area and continuous monitoring of high buildings and such places in the vicinity of all flight paths and funnel areas should be ensured.

Pindi admin asked to ban firing in air, kite and pigeon flying

The area along Gujar Khan G.T. Road to Islamabad Expressway, Khanna Bridge and around Nur Khan Airbase should be banned for such activities.

Following the intimation, Rawalpindi CPO Khalid Hamdani has issued instructions to SPs of Pothohar Division, Sadar and Rawal Division in this regard.

Section 144 Cr.P.C. has already been imposed in the Rawalpindi district, declaring a ban on kite flying and firing in the air.

Since January 2023, six incidents of firing in jubilation had taken place in which damages were done to the national assets (including aircraft) and injuries to PAF personnel had been reported to the authorities concerned.

An incident of extensive firing in the air and kite flying was carried out in the surrounding areas of PAF Base Nur Khan on Feb 24, 2023 due to which two stray bullet injuries were reported to PAF personnel, a stray bullet hit the vehicle of Prime Minister’s cavalcade, another hit PAF aircraft and initially more than 470 bullets, kites and chemical threads in large quantity were recovered from the area around the air base.

Two days later, another similar incident was reported in which a stray bullet hit the windscreen of a Service Mechanical Transport vehicle at PAF Base due to which the windscreen of the vehicle was damaged.

On May 14, 2023 a stray bullet hit the windscreen of a single cabin vehicle due to which the windscreen of the vehicle was damaged.

On August 13, 2023 the spouse of a PAF civilian sustained bullet injuries on her leg after a stray bullet hit her while she was sitting in the courtyard of her quarter at the PAF Base.

On August, 22, 2023, a bullet hole was found on the upper side of the left wing of a service aircraft during a detailed post flight inspection of service aircraft.

On January, 18, 2024, a stray bullet damaged a service aircraft which was parked at PAF Base Nur Khan.

Besides, several people were injured during the firing incidents and some lost their lives.

The Rawalpindi deputy commissioner issued a warning on Jan 30, 2024 intimating that keeping weapons and firing, kite and pigeons flying in the surrounding areas of Nur Khan Base is strictly prohibited and strict legal action would be initiated against those involved violating the government ban.

The deputy commissioner has also directed the Rawalpindi CPO and the assistant commissioners of Cantt and City for taking special measures against firing in jubilation in the surrounding areas of the airbase and for declaring the area weapon free zone.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

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