Lahore to have strict security for World XI cricket series



Security forces have put in place stringent security measures in the provincial metropolis in order to thwart any untoward eventuality during the international World XI cricket series which is scheduled to be begin on Tuesday (today) at the Qadhafi Stadium. The security forces have also installed a number of spotlights on the route of foreign cricket players through which they would monitor their cavalcade.

A senior police official, seeking anonymity, told Business Recorder on Monday that the spotlights would provide ‘more’ lights to the CCTV cameras being installed for the security of the international cricket players. Through the CCTV cameras, he said, it was difficult for the law enforcers to ‘easily’ identify the suspected persons at night, so they decided to install streets lights on the route of cricket players.

Responding to a query, he said the security measures have been taken in line with international standards. “We have made four-layer security arrangements for this event,” the official said. “As it is a very important event, we tried our best to ensure security by utilising our all available resources,” said the officer. “We have installed spotlights in and around all the routes leading to Nishtar Sports Complex,” he said, adding that over 8,000 security personnel have been deployed for the security of this match.

“In case of emergency, a makeshift hospital having capacity of accommodating more than 100 persons at a time has also been set up within the Nishtar complex,” he added. In addition, the law enforcers have completely cordoned off The Mall from the Chief Minister’s secretariat to Governor House Chowk by erecting barricades and tents for security reasons.

Another police official said they have started conducting intelligence-based operations (IBOs) in the city, especially in and around the route of cricket team. For the assistance of Punjab police, officials of Rangers and Elite Police have also been spared, he said. “Under our security plan, DPOs and RPOs of other districts have also been engaged for ensuring foolproof security,” he opined.

Responding to a query, he said the security situation will be monitored through the Central Police Office (CPO), Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA), and operations room of the DIG office as well as the CCPO’s and other offices of the security agencies. A police spokesman said the city traffic police had also established four parking lots for the convenience of spectators. “The spectators would not be allowed to park their vehicles or enter the Nishtar Sports Complex if they fail to produce their CNIC cards,” said the official.

He said the parking lots have been established in Forman Christian College, Liberty Market, Jaam-e-Shireen Park, and Sunfort Hotel whereas a sitting area for the drivers has also been established. He added that the vehicles fitted with CNG and LPG kits would not be allowed to enter the premises of parking spots.

The spokesman said that people coming from Mughalpura, The Mall, Mozang, Ichhra and Wahdat Colony would have to park their vehicles in FC college after crossing the Shah Jamal underpass, and those coming from Kahna, Kot Lakhpat and Ferozepur Road would use Walton Road, Qainchi, Cavalry Grounds flyover, Firdous Market and Husain Chowk to park their vehicles at the Liberty Market parking.

The spectators coming from Thokar Niaz Baig, Motorway, Wapda Town, Garden Town, Johar Town and Township will use Barkat Market for having access to the FC College parking. Those coming from Gulberg and Cantt will park their vehicles at the LDA parking plaza and Jaam-e-Shireen Park.

He said Canal Bank Road will remain open for traffic while those intended to go to Kahna, Kot Lakhpat, Cantt and Mughalpura could use Walton Road. Firdous Market, Husain Chowk, MM Alam Road, Mini Market, Main Boulevard and Siddique Trader Centre will also remain open besides Jail Road from Siddique Trade Centre to Qartaba Chowk.

The spokesman said the metro bus stop in front of Qadhafi Stadium will remain closed for security reasons whereas the other routes will be operational. “The spectators should use the bus service to reach the stadium as we have set up various points for pick and drop,” he added.