What is Islamabad’s safe city project?

A Safe City Project was officially launched in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan on Monday, putting every corner of the city under the watchful eyes of camera monitors installed in various parts of the city.

Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong inaugurated the project at the headquarters of the Islamabad Police.

Around 1,800 surveillance cameras have been installed across the city as part of the project, ensuring real-time monitoring on all the people and vehicles at important buildings, entry and exit polls, roads, commercial centers and a major portion of the city’s residential areas.

All the video data will be transferred to a bombproof and quakeproof command and control center. The Safe City Project, built by China’s telecom giant Huawei, will work in coordination with the big data from the Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

The suspicious people and vehicles monitored in the cameras will be checked in the big data, and if suspects confirmed dangerous, the command center will allocate police to the site in three minutes, to minimize the possible destruction caused by crimes and terrorist attacks.

“In the training phase, ICT (Islamabad Capital Territory) police have already started using the system, and our more than 200 persons are in the learning phase. We have traced murders, robberies, car theft and many other cases in just the past two months by using this new system.

Not only this, our deployment has become efficient many folds, and we effectively destroyed a series of terrorist attacks to the capital last month,” said Tariq Masood Yasin, inspector general of Police Islamabad. The commercial contract of the Safe City Project was signed in 2009 and was re-launched in June 2014 after a period of suspension.

Completed in Octber 2015, the project was officially transferred to the Pakistani government in June 2016.