Interior Ministry requisitions army helicopters for air surveillance

ISLAMABAD: The Interior Ministry on Monday requisitioned helicopters from the Pakistan Army for the air surveillance of the PTI and PAT marches announced for the 14th. It has also asked to suspend the mobile phone services in the twin cities, as part of strict security measures. The Islamabad and the Punjab Police has been strictly instructed to deal with the PTI and PAT workers from organising meetings and gatherings, the officials said.The security arrangements have been finalised to be effective from the eve of the Independence Day and high alert has already been put in place. Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan directed the law enforcement agencies on Monday that it was the government’s first obligation to save the lives and properties of the people, adding that the policemen were being deployed at the important buildings of the twin cities.“If anyone tries to block the road, he or she would be arrested and sent to jail. The police is prepared to deal with any situation,” said Islamabad IG Aftab Cheema. The police officials said that the Interior Ministry has given them strict instructions not to show any leniency towards the PTI and PAT leaders and workers. The Islamabad police chief would report to the interior minister regarding the update report of all the security measures by every hour. Containers and barbed wires have been dropped at the Red Zone and the Diplomatic Enclave to seal them off. The capital police have placed more then 1,300 containers and barriers at the entry and exit points of the capital in general and special measures have been taken to stop the commuters entering from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) at Tarnol and Pir Sohawa.The Islamabad police have also placed containers and barriers on the roads leading to the capital such as the Kashmir Highway, Murree Road, and Agha Shahi Road. Similarly, the police and the Rangers were deputed on the entry and exit points of the capital. While harassment of the PTI and PAT workers and supporters continued for the whole day, the police continued to arrest the workers of both the parties in parts of the twin cities. Even cases of highhandedness with some workers were also reported in the twin cities.The Red Zone and the Diplomatic Enclave in the capital have already been sealed off for national parade and the Independence Day. Security of both the locations has been handed over to the army; however, the security of the Parliament House is being managed from a special control room. National parade would be held on the night between the 13th and 14th in front of the Parliament House. On the other hand, around 15,000 personnel of the capital police, Punjab Police, Azad Kashmir Police, Rangers, Railway Police, and FC were deployed on various spots of the federal capital on Monday. A number of police vehicles and many prison vans were also brought to the area to arrest the protesters in case they violated Section 144, which has been imposed in the city.

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