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Punjab promises foolproof security

LAHORE, Jan 12: The Punjab government on Saturday announced foolproof security arrangements for the Tehrik Minhajul Quran’s long march from Lahore to Islamabad that included a full-fledged ‘box security’ for Dr Tahirul Qadri and protection for the participants.“We will provide 12 Elite Police special squads to the long march including four for Mr Qadri’s box security as is done for the head of state. Besides these 6,000 police officials, vehicles of Rescue-1122 and ambulances will also accompany the marchers. Emergency has also been declared in hospitals on the way by canceling leaves of all doctors and paramedics,” Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said at a news conference here.

He said police would also ensure security check of all the participants and their vehicles. There were confirmed reports about the possible attack on the long march through a vehicle. And, therefore, police would affix stickers on all vehicles included in the march in order to check intrusion of terrorists’ vehicle on the way.

He criticized the TMQ leadership for not cooperating with the government on maintaining law and order during the long march. “For the last five days the Lahore commissioner and the police chief have been visiting the TMQ secretariat to coordinate with its leadership on security issues. We had asked its leaders to provide details about the participating vehicles but they have not responded to date,” he deplored.

Sanaullah said the government wouldn’t stop the long march until it remained peaceful.

He said Mr Qadri wanted a suicide attack on Pakistan through his long march. He also blamed him for accomplishing the agenda of anti-state elements in the name of electoral reforms, and by risking the lives of his followers during the march. He said Dr Qadri should not do so as the nation knew all about his past.

The law minister also criticized the PPP for showing double standards on the issue of long march. “First the President Zardari pushed the MQM to join Qadri and then forced it to withdraw. In the meanwhile, he (Mr Zardari) sent Rehman Malik who also endorsed Qadri’s agenda in a press conference. Finally the PML-Q leadership also began talks with Qadri on the instructions of Mr Zardari,” he said.

He termed Mr Qadri’s demand of dissolution of the Election Commission of Pakistan a mischief by the younger Chaudhry (Pervaiz Elahi).

CPO: Police will provide full security to Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march. This decision was taken during a high-level meeting, presided over by acting inspector general of Punjab Police Khan Baig at the Central Police Office (CPO) on Saturday.

Senior police officials attended the meeting and finalised a strategy to provide security to the long march.

According to an announcement, DIG (Operations) Sohail Ahmed Khan was nominated as coordinator to ensure and supervise the security arrangements for the long march. Inspector Zeegham of the Elite Force will liaison with the police of various districts to ensure security to the march from beginning to the end.

The Elite Force will escort Dr Qadri’s convoy from Lahore while additional police will also be deployed on sensitive parts of the route. Similarly, district police concerned will provide security to the long march in their respective regions as per the plan given by Dr Qadri.

A control room has also been established at the CPO where a team of senior police officers will monitor security of the march.