Minister for Interior Rehman Malik put a ban on entry of motorcycles, heavy vehicles and general public into the Red Zone, on 22nd November (Thursday) to ensure complete security on the occasion of concluding ceremony of D-8 Summit in Islamabad.
The minister also announced public holiday in Islamabad today (22 November) on the eve of D-8 Summit.
The minister chaired a meeting in Islamabad to review law & order and security situation of the capital and security arrangements made for Muharram-ul-Haram and D-8 Summit.
The meeting was attended by the secretary interior, secretary foreign affairs, chief commissioner, Islamabad, inspector general of police, Islamabad, and DG (NCMC).
“All schools, colleges and educational institutions (Public and Private) will remain close on November 22. All offices of District Administration as well as Pakistan Secretariat will remain closed,” Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced in the meeting.
However, offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior Chief Commissioner and DC Office, ICT Police, CDA, Iesco, National Assembly Secretariat and Senate Secretariat would remain open.
“No motorcycle shall be allowed in Red Zone, no member of general public is allowed to enter in Red Zone on November 22, except authorised persons, no heavy vehicle shall be allowed to enter in ICT from mid night on Wednesday,” adding that no construction activity and transfer of construction material will be allowed in ICT from mid night on Wednesday.
Speaking on the security on the eve of Ashoora-e-Muharram, the minister said that no motorcycle or motorcar would be allowed to accompany the Jaloos (mourning procession).
The minister said that Islamabad Administration should ensure that no vehicle or motorcycle would be parked around the Imam Bargahs and en route to the procession at reasonable distance to be determined by the Police, adding that Muharram procession must end before sunset.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Islamabad Police Bani-Amin Khan has directed to ensure comprehensive security as well as traffic arrangements for ongoing D-8 Summit being hosted by Pakistan, joint Parliament session and also for the processions, religious gatherings during Muharram-ul-Harram.
These directions were made by him in a meeting attended by DIG (Security) Ahmed Mukarram, DIG (Headquarters) Sultan Azam Temuri, AIG (Operations) Tahir Alam Kham, SSP Islamabad Yaseen Farooq, SSP (Traffic) Dr. Moeen Masood, SSP (Security) Mir Vais Niaz, all SPs, SDPOs and other police officials.
The IGP directed all SDPOs and SHOs to ensure effective security at important routes and enhance vigilance at all entrance points of the city.
Following IGP’s direction, SSP (Traffic) Dr. Moeen Masood said that ITP has also devised comprehensive traffic plan for these important occasions. According to the plan of ITP for D-8 Summit and joint Parliament session to be held on 23 November, he informed that Red Zone will be restricted for general traffic. The traffic will be divert from Margalla Road Trail III, Agha Khan Road, Ayub Chowk and Jinnah Avenue from Express Chowk. Only authorised vehicles will be allowed to enter in the Red Zone. From the mid night of 21-22 November the entry of heavy traffic will be prohibited in Islamabad including all those heavy vehicles who have previously been permitted to enter in Islamabad will also be banned.
Finalising the traffic plan on directions from IGP Bani-Amin Khan, SSP Traffic Dr. Moeen Masood revealed that on 23 November Margalla Road from Trail III, Agha Khan Road from Ayub Chowk, Jinnah Avenue from Express Chowk and Fazal-e-Haq Road from Great Wall Chowk will be closed for general traffic. Likewise the traffic plying from G-6 to G-5 will be closed from Bazaar Chowk and the entry of traffic into Federal Lodges will be closed. The general traffic will also be diverted from Dhokri Chowk, Radio Pakistan Chowk, Bari Imam T Cross and Shams Picket.
The SSP Traffic Islamabad added that on the eve of joint session only those vehicles having green and red stickers will be allowed to enter in the Red Zone. He said that the heavy traffic including vehicles having entry permits will not be allowed to enter in Islamabad after mid night 21-22 November.
The IGP while reviewing this plan said this traffic plan has been set in view of security situation in the country, therefore, the citizens are requested to used alternate routes during the joint session and to co-operate with the local police and traffic staff will be present at diversion point to guide the road users.
For gatherings of Muharram-ul-Haram, the IGP asked SSP (Traffic) that it should be ensured that parking lots to be far away from the processions with proper security arrangements there.
The IGP also directed to depute vigilant police officials at important points including pickets in the Red Zone. He also asked the police officers to brief their subordinates from time to time as how to ensure efficient security. He also asked to handover anti-riot kits to recruits during performance of various assignments and said that sluggish attitude in performance of duties will not be tolerated.
As a part of security during Muharram-ul-Haram, he said that it should be ensured to make arrangements for thorough checking of participants of Majalis and processions using metal detectors. Strict vigilance should be maintained to ensure that security measures are in place by the police as well as peace committees, the IGP maintained.