The government has imposed Section 144 on twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi and sealed all entry points leading to Benazir International Airport and Red Zone of the Capital by placing containers a day before Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s arrival. Under Section 144, the government has banned all kind of public meeting/rallies, besides displaying banners and party flags, arms and pillion riding of motorcycle in the twin cities.
The sources said that all entry points of Islamabad and Benazir International Airport have been sealed. They said that shuttle service was being provided to the passengers who are scheduled to go abroad.
They said that the government had also decided to suspend mobile phone services from Sunday midnight. Emergency has been declared at all government hospitals of Islamabad to deal with any untoward incident.
According to Rawalpindi DCO, Sajid Zafar, section 144 has been imposed and there is no permission for holding public meetings, rallies, carrying banners and party flags. He said that Section 144 will remain enforced until Tuesday and during this period the use of loudspeakers, display of arms and pillion riding of motorcycle would remain suspended.
The Interior Ministry has also imposed Section 144 in Islamabad where security has been beefed up at the airport and public places, with enhanced patrolling and snap checking in the federal capital.
According to the sources, more than 6,000 policemen have been deployed to stop PAT workers from going to Benazir International Airport. The sources said that the federal government had deployed troops around Diplomatic Enclave as well as other parts of the capital on the eve of Qadri’s arrival.
“The troops would remain in the Diplomatic Enclave Area from the time of Qardi’s arrival till his departure to Lahore,” an official source informed.
The capital police have made a special security plan to avert any untoward situation and under the plan, all the entry and exit points of the capital would be well-guarded so that no worker of PAT could enter the capital.
According to statement issued by Interior Ministry, the government has expressed firm resolve to ensure law, order and security in Islamabad and Rawalpindi at all costs.
The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting jointly chaired by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Islamabad on Sunday evening.
The meeting reviewed overall security situation in the country. It decided that no illegal activity will be allowed at any cost.
The meeting decided to cancel all the passes to enter the Islamabad Airport for 48 hours, except for the employees of the airport. No irrelevant person will be allowed to enter the airport, and the movement in the areas adjacent to the airport will remain restricted.
The meeting resolved that the security of the citizens will be on top priority of the government under the present circumstances.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has categorically stated that no one would be allowed to march on Islamabad in the guise of holding demonstrations or sit-ins.
In a statement issued in Islamabad on Sunday, he said anyone can arrange political gatherings, but law will come into action against those who claim or intend to remove the government unconstitutionally.
He said it is responsibility of the government to facilitate Tahirul Qadri and his companions to reach Lahore safely.
He said that it was not understandable why Tahirul Qadri is landing in Islamabad when he wanted to go to Lahore.
The Interior Minister said all the security agencies were presently focusing on the war against terrorism, and it is beyond understanding why Tahirul Qadri wants to create a hurdle in it.