PESHAWAR - In order to cope with any threat in future, authorities Thursday devised a new security plan to protect the Bacha Khan International Airport by enhancing law enforcement forces' patrolling, collecting data of people living in the vicinity and imposing a complete ban on all kind of constructions without taking formal permission, sources told The Nation on Thursday.
To tight security in and around the airport, which is strategically situated in the heart of Peshawar, the sources said, a high level meeting was held to evolve a strategy as how to protect the airport from unfortunate incidents, it was decided that safeguarding the airport would be ensured at all cost.
Without prior permission, the meeting decided that no construction would be allowed in the surrounding areas of the airport. Besides, locals would be bound providing details to police of the guests who come and stay in the localities after evening, sources said. They said that a 24-hour joint patrolling by police and other law enforcement agencies would be ensured at the roads adjacent to the airport. "Moreover, data and record of the entire population living in the outskirts of the airport would also be collected," they informed.
"In addition, fingerprints, mobile and national identity card numbers and pictures of above 14-year males would also be gathered," sources said, adding, over 1000 policemen would conduct the proposed data collection survey in the suburbs of the airport.
After completing interrogation process, all 241 suspects have been released, after being taken into custody during house to house search operation launched after unknown armed men fired at a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight No 756 coming from Riyadh to Peshawar carrying 178 passengers.
The airbus was fired upon from ground when it was about to land at the airport leaving a woman died and two other sustained injuries Tuesday last, they said. "After hectic 18-hour long efforts, engineers and technicians temporarily repaired the targeted PIA airplane and flew to Karachi for proper maintenance," sources said.
Apart from, they said, it has also been learnt that intelligence agencies have also intercepted some classified material which will prove helpful in detecting the culprits. "Additional check posts have been set up in Sheikh Mohammmadi and Mashoo Guggar areas and patrolling has been carried out in Pishtakhara round-the-clock," he added.
They said that at least eight additional Quick Reaction Forces (QRFs) are also deployed by the law enforcement agencies. The Bacha Khan Airport, which achieved international status in 1965 when the first flight was operated from Kabul, Afghanistan to Peshawar, being situated near tribal belt, is constantly under threat, and there is need for proper security arrangements.
"International flights would restart within a week while domestic flights is on," they said, adding at the moment national exchequer loses billions after suspending flights by some three international airlines to and from Peshawar as thousands of people from both KP and FATA mostly visit abroad using this rout.
"In the wake of Tuesday incident security at all airports and airbases in KP has been further tightened by deploying more security personnel in and around these facilities," they added.