The residents of Banigala have appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to save them from the humiliation of Islamabad police in the name of protocol and security, which have taken over the area ever since Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf won majority seats in the National Assembly.
According to reports in the local media, residents of the constituency are disappointed with the way things shaped up in the area following Khan’s win in the July 25 general elections. The residents said that they had an emotional attachment with Khan since most of his political struggle took place while living in the neighbourhood. They said that they admired and supported him even though the roads of Bani Gala were choked countless times in the last five years.
However, since Khan’s win more than 350 police officials have taken over the narrow roads and many temporary posts have been erected on and around the three-kilometre long Korang road, which links Khan’s residence with the highway. Along with that, high-speed ambulances, fire-brigades, and police barriers have also been placed in the area making the already small place shrink even further. The changes have also resulted in residents losing all their privacy and space, irking them. The locals feel that Khan can atleast provide protection to his own neighbours.
Moreso, the Capital police’s security division, which provides security for top government functionaries including the president, combed and searched each house on the main road and every resident went through police interviews and security checks.
All these activities have surprised and irritated many, as Khan during his speeches always criticised his opponents for having protocol which according to him was a massive burden on the national exchequer of a poor country.
Locals feel that the situation “is worse than the previous government” as the policemen enter shops and eat whatever they want.
Officials claim that Khan’s office, which is trying hard to project a simple, protocol-less lifestyle of the Prime Minister and his team, is “nothing but politics.”
They stated that they are providing security to Prime Minister in the “same manner” as before based on the blue book (a classified document which explains security arrangements during VVIP movements),” adding that there have been no changes in the old security procedures.
The officials further said that they told the PM that living in Bani Gala is a security risk and it will cause trouble to the general public but he did not listen to them.
The officials said that according to the book, all the roads and adjoining parking lots must be cleared, all movement must be halted prior to VVIP movement.
However, Deputy Inspector General (Security) Waqar Ahmed Chohan insisted that there has been no protocol and only essential security was being provided to the Prime Minister. He ensured that his office will see that no citizen is disturbed by the police.