Tuesday May 21, 2024

Peshawar was on high security alert for PDM rally

By Javed Aziz Khan
November 23, 2020

PESHAWAR: The security remained on high alert for the public rally of the opposition parties after threats of terror attacks in the provincial capital.

The cellular phone signals were suspended in the vicinity of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally’s venue and over 4,000 policemen were deployed for the security. “Calls were intercepted that terrorists have planned to attack the event after which security was upgraded to the maximum and leadership and organisers of the rally were informed. The vehicles of only the senior leadership were allowed to drive to the venue,” said Kamran Bangash, special assistant to chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Top political leaders, including chief of PDM Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice-president Maryam Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari were among the many leaders who were in Peshawar on Sunday to address the rally held against the government and its policies as part of the campaign to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan from power. All the roads leading to the venue were closed from late Saturday for security reasons by placing containers. The traffic from Ring Road and Dilazak Road was diverted to other routes to ensure smooth flow of traffic. A comprehensive security and traffic plan was chalked out for the event. A special control room headed by the Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) was set up to monitor security arrangements for the event. According to an official, search and strike operations were carried out in the last few weeks in Peshawar to ensure peaceful holding of the event. The official said over 4,500 suspects were rounded up in the search operations for various violations and carrying weapons without licence. Senior Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Abbas Majeed Marwat said the alternate routes were identified and more traffic sergeants deployed to make sure no road was blocked. He added that 16 mobile squads, 54 rider squads and 16 forklift teams were deployed on the city roads to ensure smooth flow of traffic. He said that around 1,000 officers were deployed in shifts so they remain on the road round-the-clock. The entry of heavy vehicles to the city was also banned throughout Sunday.