San bunkers and sirens, Islamabad braces for ‘alien’ invasion

ISLAMABAD: The preparations for the ‘alien invasion’ are receiving final touches. Except for the life-securing concrete bunkers and terrifying sirens, everything seems in place. Realistically speaking, no one in the government is claiming that life in the federal capital is normal.The interior ministry, which controls Islamabad administration, Tuesday held exhaustive meetings to finalize the capital’s surveillance using camera-fitted drones, which can fly half a kilometer high for 20 minutes. The ministry is keeping its fleet of helicopters ready too, with cameras and sniper aboard, a source confirmed to Daily Times. Taking a page from Rehman Malik’s handbook of maintaining law and order, the cellular service may remain suspended in all major cities as well as along the GT Road and other vital inter-city arteries. A source confirmed that mobile Internet service provided by a telecom giant may also fall prey to the curbs. The connectivity speed may be slow down quite a bit. The only likely means of communication alive will be the landline phones. The capital administration may be spending millions on decorating official building for Youm-e-Azadi but the Azadi March has left the arrangement un-appreciated. There’s not much of fanfare within the capitali’ites to celebrate the Independence Day on Thursday. Houses and cars are hardly hoisting the national flag and local stalls selling commemorative materials are far and few between. Even if the siege was not fully in place till Tuesday evening, the federal capital is already facing the impact. From attendance in public and private offices to provision of meat and milk in the city, everything remains far less than normal.The majority of petrol pumps were rationing the fuel, some not selling more than 10 liters for cars. The public transport remained missing on many routes, thus markets were generally deserted. The commuter vans were few and far on Islamabad’s outskirts such as TramariChowk or Golra Shrine. There won’t fuel or CNG available today on majority of gas stations.“We are driving on our own risk after being clearly told stay put in our homes. The transport body has been effectively conveyed the odds coming their way,” explained ZafarIqbal, a driver on Aabapara-Tramari route. Little doubts remain that this last remaining connection with Rawalpindi may also be severed anytime after dark on Tuesday. The number of visitors in outpatient departments of the Pakistani Institute of Medical Sciences and Poly Clinic Hospital was exceptionally low during the entire day. “On any given day, the PIMS OPD offers services to patients ranging from Hazara and Kashmir region to Attock and Chakwal. However, today we recorded exceptionally low turnout,” says a doctor on duty.Besides scarcity of fuel coupled with scare of being held by the security personnel, there were not many daring hawkers to fetch milk, newspapers or even supplies for grocery stores.Over the last two days, the CDA officials have been unavailable to shed on the situation. There has not been any official word on the situation. It’s worth mentioning though that the government plans to revive the military parade, for which Section 144 may be relaxed in the evening.

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Aaj Kal