Govt chalks out 4-stage plan to checkmate Imran, Qadri

ISLAMABAD: The federal government came into action on Friday with iron fist as the police continued with unabated harassment and arrests of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) workers. Hundreds of containers have been brought into the capital and stored in the suburbs for the time being to secure the roads leading to the Diplomatic Enclave and the Red Zone in the first place. But most of these containers would be placed at the main roads leading to sensitive installations, staring from next week, the officials said.Section 144 has been imposed in the capital. The Islamabad’s deputy commissioner has issued a notification in this regard. Section 144 bans a gathering of more than five people at one place. For the time being, there is no plan to let the PTI or PAT workers into the Red Zone, main areas of the capital as preparations are being made to contain them to the outskirts of the capital if the march takes place, the officials informed. The Islamabad and the Punjab police have been strictly instructed to deal with the PTI and PAT workers from organising meetings and gatherings. The marketplaces and business centres gave a deserted look with personnel of law enforcement agencies searching for the PTI and PAT office bearers.The government, according to sources, has chalked out a four-stage plan to prevent the supporters of Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri from entering into the city. According to plan, the law enforcement agencies have been directed to negotiate with the protesters. If it doesn’t work, then the government would resort to another plan, which is to seal Islamabad and Rawalpindi. For this purpose, hundreds of containers have been brought into the twin cities. Once sealed, not a single person would be allowed to leave or enter into the twin-cities. More than 20,000 personnel of army, Islamabad police, Rangers, Frontier Constabulary (FC), Punjab police, Punjab constabulary, and Azad Kashmir’s reserved police would be deployed to stop the protesters from entering into the twin cities.At the third stage, the government would allow the marchers and the protesters to hold their peaceful rally outside the capital, the place and area for which has yet to be decided. In case, the PTI and PAT rallies attempt to enter into the city, they plan D would become operational, according to which, all the violators would either be arrested or stopped with an iron fist. The decision, sources confided, was taken after detailed consultation and brainstorming between the government and the security officials. On the other hand, the harassment of the PTI and PAT workers and supporters continued the whole day, and the police also arrested female workers of both the parties in parts of the twin cities. Even cases of highhandedness with women were also reported. The police officials said that the government has given them strict instructions not to show any leniency, particularly towards the PAT leaders and workers.

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