The federal government has directed provincial governments to make adequate security measures to prevent any untoward incident during Muharram.
Both federal and provincial governments have also sought army’s assistance to maintain law and order. On the other hand, the interior ministry has yet to make a security plan for the federal capital.
“Several meetings on security have been held by the ministry and the local administration but no security plan has been finalised for Islamabad so far,” a police official said. It has been observed that policemen have not been deployed at Imambargahs, mosques and other sensitive places in Islamabad. Meanwhile, the Punjab government has sought deployment of 14 companies of the army, each comprising 150 personnel, in Rawalpindi, according to the provincial information department.
The Sindh government has requested for the deployment of 900 troops in the province to ensure security during the month. According to the Balochistan government’s security plan, 10,000 personnel of FC and police with 5,000 volunteers will guard Majalis and mourning processions. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has banned pillion riding from Muharram 1 to 10. Our Staff Correspondent adds from Quetta: Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Quetta Police Chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema said personnel of police and other law-enforcement agencies had been deployed at 71 checkpoints in and around the city. He said 600 police personnel had been posted in and around 56 Imambargahs. “We have increased security of nine very sensitive Imambargahs.” Mr Cheema said 14 CCTV cameras had been installed on the routes of mourning procession. He said additional police contingents had been called in from other parts of the province for security duties from 7th to 10th Muharram.
He said more checkposts had been set up in and around Hazara town and other sensitive places in Quetta. He said army helicopters would monitor the main Ashura procession. Pillion-riding would be banned from 7th to 10th Muharram and provincial home department had been asked to get mobile phone service suspended on 10th Muharram, he said.
Mr Cheema said that display of arms had been banned during the month and even security personnel on duty with ministers and other personalities would not display weapons. “A control room has been set up in the office of the CCPO from where police, Frontier Corps and army officials would monitor the situation round the clock.” Mr Cheema said Inspector General of Police Mohammad Amlish and CCPO had meetings with ulema, social workers, public representatives and civil society to seek their cooperation for ensuring peace during Muharram. -dawn