Security around churches increased
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday deployed police and plainclothed commandos around churches and other Christian installations in stepped up security to foil possible attacks during Christmas, officials said.
Police have been directed to step up patrols while policemen equipped with metal detectors manned all entry and exit points in Islamabad, they said.
Screening machines have also been installed at the entrances of churches in different areas, a police spokesman said.
Special security arrangements have been made in central Punjab while hundreds of policemen have been deployed in Lahore to avoid any incidents on Christmas eve, local police chief Shafqaat Ahmad told reporters. In Karachi strict security measures have been taken to prevent any attacks on Christian and other minority community targets.
Police said bomb disposal squads conducted extensive searches of all places of worship. Security was tightened around foreign missions, luxury hotels, fast food chains and recreational places. The measures were preventative because of past attacks rather than related to a specific threat. In May a double bomb blast outside the private Pakistan-American Cultural Centre and near the US consul-general’s residence in Karachi killed one policeman and injured 32 others. afp