Security outside Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Bani Gala residence has been tightened in the wake of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazalur Rehman’s two-day ultimatum to resign.
The local administration said it was ready to deal with any situation, adding that the Elite Force and paramilitary Rangers personnel had also been called to guard the capital’s commercial area.
The Ministry of Interior said armoured personnel carriers had been stationed in front of the Parliament House with the deployment of more security personnel in the sensitive areas.
Security forces deployed at Islamabad’s Zero Point and on paths leading to the Red Zone have been alerted to prepare for unrest, according to police.
The officers have all been provided tear gas canisters as well as other combat apparatus. Also, the number of police and FC personnel stationed along the aforementioned areas have been amplified, some of them arriving from other provinces.
Instructions have been issued to the personnel to ensure that the crowds do not move beyond the designated protest venue.
Director-General Rangers, Inspector-General of Police (Operations) and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) also briefed the personnel.
Contrarily, law enforcers have been issued instructions to prepare and get ready for any untoward situation in case the protesters violate the agreement signed between the government’s negotiation committee and the Rehbar Committee. The local administration has been tasked to plan a strategy to resist marchers if they advance towards the sensitive Red Zone of Islamabad.
The government has strictly warned the demonstrators that if they violate the agreement, stern action would be taken against them in accordance with the Law.
Security is tight in Islamabad with the government and diplomatic sector – Red Zone – just a few kilometres from the rally – sealed off, with shipping containers used to block roads. All paths leading towards Red Zone have been blocked. Sources say the law enforcers have already devised a plan to keep the protesters confined to the designated H-9 venue and not to allow them to move to some other place. The federal government appears determined to block the Azadi March from leaving its designated protest site after Fazl threatened to march on D-Chowk today if the prime minister does not resign.
Interior Minister Ejaz Shah chaired a meeting attended by representatives of the army and Rangers, and the Islamabad chief commissioner and the police chief.