Police devise security steps to ‘shield’ churches of capital

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Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police have devised a foolproof security plan to maintain law and order on the eve of Christmas.

City Police Officer CPO (Operations) Sohail Zafar Chatha in this regard chaired a high-level meeting on Thursday and directed the police officers to ramp up security in the federal capital on the eve of Christmas and New Year and remain alert so that no untoward incident could take place.

I urge all of you to remain alert and vigilant and protect lives and property of the public, he said while addressing the Islamabad police officers. He directed extra security measures to shield churches on the auspicious occasions.

The CPO asked the police officers not to overlook the possible security threats and remain vigilant to maintain law and order.

Earlier, he also held a meeting with priests and pastors of various churches of the capital including Iqbal Town and New Shakrial and assured them the Islamabad police would extend full security during their religious festivities and ceremonies. A large number of Christian community is living in Islamabad and according to estimates, their number is around 200,000 most of them are employed in the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Metropolitan Politan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI), Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTC) and the Federal Secretariat. The city is therefore seen as a centre of interfaith harmony.

CPO listened to their concerns and assured all out measures would be taken to maintain peace and tranquility on the eve of Christmas and the New Year.

SSP Operations Malik Jamil Zafar, Zonal DPOs and other junior officers also attended the meeting.

Later during the meeting with the police officials, he directed deployment of extra police force to shield the churches.

Search and combing operations should be carried out in order to flush out terrorists and suspects, he said, adding that all the DPOs should make a strategy to combat crime from their areas. “Snap checking should be done besides activating the Eagle Squads to catch the criminals and suspects,” he said.

He also ordered strict action against those found involved in aerial firing and showing stunts on cars and motorcycles on New Year Night. “No negligence will be tolerated during security duty of capital” he said.