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KARACHI: Army troops called out for three days

January 19, 2008

KARACHI, Jan 18: The provincial government has requisitioned the services of army troops for three days. The troops will be deployed only in case of the failure of the police force and Rangers in controlling any untoward situation.

The decision has been taken in the wake of Thursday’s suicide attack in Peshawar at Mirza Qasim Baig Imambargah killing at least 12 persons and leaving many others injured.

The caretaker Sindh Chief Minister, Justice (retd) Abdul Qadir Halepota, has directed the relevant authorities to take stringent measures and provide security rings around Muharram processions and other activities at imambargahs and to keep an eye on the activities of possible troublemakers.

The government has already declared a red alert in all the districts of the province. According to sources, the army would remain on a high alert and its assistance would be acquired only in an extreme emergency situation.

They said that following the blast in Peshawar, the government had further beefed up security throughout the province including the metropolis. The army troops, which were called out on Thursday, will be available for deployment on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

According to the sources, the troops will be deployed from Saturday in Karachi, Hyderabad, Khairpur, Sukkur, Nawabshah, Larkana Dadu, Kamber and Naushehro Feroze.

Besides, the home department has taken more stringent measures for the security of important personalities who are reportedly on the hit list of terrorists. As a precautionary measure, the government has deployed security personnel in plain clothes around their residences.

Meanwhile, Rangers and police have chalked out a comprehensive security plan to counter any expected threat of terrorism in the city during Ashura days, adds PPI.

A high-level meeting, attended by top officials of Rangers and police, was held here on Friday with the DG Rangers, Major-General Liaquat Ali, in the chair.

As many as 10,000 Rangers personnel will monitor the main processions of Ashura in Karachi, while an additional contingent of 4,000 youths, who have been called from the interior of Sindh, will remain in reserve for help during any emergency.

Rangers’ personnel have been deployed at all entry and exit points along Balochistan, at bus terminals and railway stations in Karachi.

Eight sniffer dogs, imported from Germany, will also be used for clearance purposes of mourning procession routes.