Pakistan adopts Eid ul Adha security measures

Islamabad and all 4 provinces have finalised their security plans, officials say.

By Sohail Ahmed

2012-10-26

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan has set up strict security measures to prevent any possible terrorist acts during the October 27 celebration of Eid ul Adha.

Police will safeguard the public, especially at places of worship, Police Inspector General Bani Amin Khan told Central Asia Online, adding that 2,864 policemen will be deployed at 666 mosques and 40 imambargahs.

All police superintendents and station heads will be on duty to monitor operations.

Meanwhile, the federal police have directed capital city ulema and their subordinates to offer Eid prayers only inside mosques or other facilities, rather than outdoors.

These, among additional security measures, come in response to direction from Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf himself, who called on police to provide "foolproof security" to ensure public safety. Afghanistan, meanwhile, suffered a major attack during Eid celebrations October 26.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik apprised the prime minister on the law-and-order situation, after which the prime minister directed him to take necessary security measures to protect lives and property during the Eid festivities throughout the country.

Ashraf then asked Pakistanis "to exhibit complete unity and harmony and to demonstrate to the world at large that Pakistanis are a peace-loving and tolerant society."

Special arrangements will also be taken in red zones and the Diplomatic Enclave, Malik told Central Asia Online, adding that security checks at entry and exit points will be strengthened.

The Interior Ministry also chalked out a code of conduct for collection of hides of sacrificial animals during Eid, banning 40 militant organisations from collecting animal hides and forbidding the use of loudspeakers to amplify calls for the donations.

The ministry also directed the provincial governments to enhance surveillance at western borders to guard against any threats.

All provinces take strict measures

In Quetta, more than 400 police officers will be deployed to its 226 places of worship during Eid. The provincial government has also made plans to dispatch seven or eight extra police units to the cantonment area and to other sensitive areas and congested markets, Tareen told Central Asia Online.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is also making strides to maintain law and order and to provide security to all the vital installations and public properties in Peshawar District.

The provincial government has prepared a comprehensive security plan calling for 200 police officers to be deployed in the city as well as in the cantonment area, Police Superintendent Hidayat Ullah said.

Police will be deployed to major markets, shopping plazas, cinemas and other locations, he said. More than 150 officers will patrol all major squares in the city including Soekarno Square, Qissa Khawani Bazaar, Chowk Yadgar, GT Road, Rehman Baba Square and Qabristan Chowk. Each patrol will include six armed police and be conducted around the clock for the duration of Eid ul Adha.

Similarly, strict security will be provided at main mosques in the city, including Sunehri Mosque and Mosque Mohabat Khan.

Police have been instructed to make themselves more visible, particularly at all public places such as main shopping centres, Ullah told Central Asia Online.

"Strict security measures have been taken in order to ensure that no terrorist activity could occur at any imambargah, mosque, church or Eidgah during religious congregations," he said.

The security plan also calls for constant surveillance of activists of militant organisations as well as fanatics of sectarian organisations. Similarly, vehicle check-points have been set up.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has enacted a comprehensive plan that calls for deploying more than 8,000 policemen to protect mosques and open places.

Officers equipped with metal detectors will be deployed at mosques, imambargahs and other religious places, so that complete security will be available to the citizens of Lahore during the entire Eid ul Adha weekend.

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