ISLAMABAD - Five thousands policemen of Islamabad along with 2,200 personnel of Punjab police made elaborate security arrangements for the rally of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) here on Sunday.
Law enforcement agencies were seen assisting the protesters to reach D-Chowk, the place where PTI held its demonstration. During a visit across Islamabad, this correspondent came to know that Islamabad district management sealed only the Red Zone area, which is home to sensitive buildings including Parliament House, Supreme Court, President House and PM House, while rest of city was open to all types of traffic. There were some media reports that roads leading to Aabpara, including main chowk, Khayaban-e-Soharwardi Road, G-6 Markaz Road (Melody) and Lal Masjid Road, were closed for traffic; however, this correspondent observed no blockade there.
Personnel of Islamabad Traffic Police remained busy assisting the traffic all the day. Keeping in view that a huge number of vehicles will reach the capital city, parking areas were already established in Blue Area, Melody, and G-7 and G-5 sectors by the district management.
“Islamabad capital territory (ICT) police made strict security arrangements during the rally. Where needed, additional troops of Punjab police were deployed to ensure foolproof security measures,” Mohammad Naeem, public relation officer of Islamabad police, told The Nation.
It is interesting to note that a large number of kids and children were seen in the crowd, who had come to attend the demonstration with their parents, despite the fact that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had imposed a ban on kids’ entry into the protest venue.
“We don’t know that kids are restricted to attend the protest. Honestly, police didn’t even question their entry,” Zahida Bibi, 40, told The Nation. She came from Peshawar to attend the protest.
As a part of foolproof security measures, walkthrough gates were installed where 1,500 cops were deputed to maintain law and order.
Additional police force was deployed in various areas adjacent to Aabpara Chowk, while two additional check posts were also set up to avoid any unrest.
Mujahid Force personnel were also patrolling in adjacent areas of Aabpara Chowk while Anti-Terrorist Squad was also put on high alert.
Interestingly, personnel of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police attended the rally in uniform and were seen high alert at D-Chowk. It is pertinent to mention here that Islamabad police high-ups didn’t request for their assistance and they voluntarily joined the protest to give security cover to protesters who came from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where PTI is in government.
“We are here on special duty,” Gulfam Khan, a deputy superintendent of KP police told The Nation. He confirmed that Islamabad police did not ask for assistance.
The protesters dispersed peacefully soon after the protest and not a single incident of violence was reported till filing of this report.
The inspector general of Islamabad police talking to media persons appreciated the performance of police personnel who ensured safety to protesters. He said the credit of peaceful protest goes to police personnel who remained vigilant and made foolproof security arrangements.