ISLAMABAD - Weighing options for blocking the way of long march on January 14, the Interior Ministry wants from the Punjab government to stop the participants in Lahore, it is learnt.
"We have conveyed to the Punjab government that if the participants of the long march were not stopped at the starting point, it would be difficult for us to stop them entering Islamabad," a senior official of the Interior Ministry said after a high level meeting chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik. The meeting was held to discuss the security plan for the long march announced by Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri.
Top officials of police, security forces, intelligence agencies and bureaucrats attended the meeting.
An official disclosed that the ministry was considering suspending the mobile phone services in different parts of the country especially in Punjab to disconnect the communication among participants of the march.
However, the meeting could not reach a conclusion whether the cellular services should be suspended or not.
Punjab Police Acting Inspector General Khan Baig informed the meeting that police stations in Punjab had gathers the particulars of TMQ leadership in each district.
The meeting decided that it should be made clear to the organisers of the march and bus owners that they would be responsible of any unlawful act of marchers.
The meeting approved the standard operating procedure for the security evolved by the Lahore capital city police officer.
It was decided that the organisers would nominate a group leader for every bus/vehicle and his name and cell number would be communicated to the administration and police in every district. A list of all vehicles would be provided to the district administration and police for the purpose.
Police will issue a clearance certificate to every group leader after scanning his vehicle. The certificate will be must for taking part into the march.
The chair directed that the list of all participants would be maintained with their computerised national identity card numbers and it would be handed over to the district administration.
CNIC and cell numbers of drivers and conductors of vehicles be provided to the police.
All the places where participants would be staying during the march must be identified to police for security clearance.
The interior minister instructed the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration that if participants of long march stay in the residential areas, the owner of the house would be responsible to ensure that no terrorist or miscreant was living in his house. Owner of the house will render an affidavit to this effect.The similar instructions would be passed on to all hotels, inns, hostels, seminaries in the jurisdiction of ICT. The head of the establishment will have to render an affidavit about any individual staying there during these days.
Officials of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police told the meeting that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) could target the march.
The minister asked the authorities to provide box security to Tahirul Qadri and ensure the safety of the participants.