-Detailed security arrangements to be made once plan for Azadi March is clarified by JUI-F
LAHORE: The Punjab Police is all set to deal with Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) Azadi March and has imposed a ban on the casual leaves of all officials of the department in this regard whereas all police officials are to report to their respective offices with immediate effect, Pakistan Today learnt on Wednesday.
According to details provided by well-informed sources, an order issued by the Additional Inspector General (AIG) Operations Inaam Ghani states, “In the coming days, it is expected that political/religious parties will resort to protesting and try to stage a sit-in at Islamabad that can be detrimental to the peaceful atmosphere of the province. During these activities, terrorists may get an opportunity to carry out their nefarious designs by targeting the participants of the protests/processions.”
“The responsibility to maintain law and order while foiling any terrorist activity rests chiefly with the police and keeping the expected upcoming developments in view, there is a dire need to ensure availability of sufficient strength of Punjab Police to tackle any undesirable situation. Therefore, the authority has imposed a ban on all types of casual leave forthwith and till further orders,” the order adds.
It may be mentioned here that the Punjab Police has also requested the Lahore police for help by the provision of 10,000 personnel to ensure foolproof security arrangments.
The order has also been sent to all AIGs of police, special branch, training, criminal investigation department (CID), Elite Police Force (EPF), Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP), Punjab Traffic Police, the commandant, Punjab Constabulary Farooqabad, Lahore capital city police officer, all regional police officers in Punjab, special protection unit of Punjab Police, and all district police officers (DPOs) in the province as well.
While talking to Pakistan Today, AIG Ghani said, “Moulana Fazl’s programme is not clear. Departments of the police in all districts will make their own arrangements as soon as the plan is clarified. We will ensure that no one harms government property or the public. The Punjab police have a strength of 2,05,000 force and all are deployed to control the law and order situation. The protest is in Islamabad so most of the force will be deployed there.”
“We would not be arresting anyone who participates in the Azadi March. Imposing a ban on leaves in this kind of a situation is normal practice. We also impose the ban on leaves during Muharram, Eids and other sensitive days,” he concluded.