Islamabad - In the wake of a fear of general threat to the PTI’s rally, the law enforcing agencies (LEAs) scaled up security in and around the venue to a peaceful termination.

Full marks to the LEAs and Islamabad Traffic Police for protecting, facilitating the participants of the rally and ensuring smooth traffic flow in the city respectively with no major incident of violence throughout the day. Though the city administration had made all necessary arrangements including shifting of ship containers and cranes at the main entry points of the city to block roads as and when it deemed fit but it went all well as the government had decided not to create any hurdle in the way of PTI workers. The LEAs deputed in large number at the main entry points of the city and route to the venue were directed in the evening to give way to the PTI workers, the sources said.

According to the sources in the LEAs, the security agencies had received a number of threat alerts indicating suicide attack on the participants of the rally on November 29 and 30 by the Taliban from Khurasani Group. According to the information shared with the local police, key installations including Parliament House might have been attacked by the terrorists. It said that the terrorists could launch rocket launcher attack from Margalla Hills, Shakarparian and other high rise buildings in the city. The intelligence agencies had also warned that suicide attackers might come in the rally in the guise of PTI workers and cause loss of life and property. However, the LEAs managed it well as it remained on high alert throughout the day at entry points and around the Red Zone.

The government had deployed around 15,000 security personnel to ensure security of the PTI public meeting and Red Zone. The security forces including FC, Rangers and police were put in place in four cordons. Containers were placed to protect the venue of the public meeting.

According to the information available with this scribe, plain clothes reserves assisted the guards deputed at each entry point leading to the venue of the rally as the Rapid Response Force continued patrolling the whole day in the federal capital. The participants of the rally were made to pass through the security gates set up at around five points while the entry of VIPs was managed at a special gate. Around 1551 security personnel were deputed for the security clearance of participants at different entry points besides trained personnel of special branch. ICT police contributed 98, Punjab police 115, AJK police 38 while 1300 personnel of Frontier Constabulary were deputed at the entry points to frisk the participants. The security of the Red Zone was assigned to the LEAs in two shifts and lady police also assisted in frisking the female participants of the rally.

Around 20 roads leading to the Red Zone were blocked by placing razor wire. These included NAB Turn Point, Attaturk Avenue, Bazaar Chowk, Embassy Road, Luqman Hakeem Road, Parade Avenue, Parliament Lodges and Nazim-ud-Din Road.  

The management had taken a number of measures to control the protesters in case they go violent. The police was told that force will be used after written orders of the Duty Magistrate according to the law. Though the ship containers and cranes were available with the LEAs at the main entry points of the city but they hardly offered resistance to any participant at entry points of the city and then venue. Water cannon was also available with the police at the Red Zone but it was all cool and calm before and during the rally as no one from the protesters tried to breach the cordon. The personnel of special branch also gathered the registration number of the vehicles parked outside the venue so as to get lead in case of a terrorism act.

Earlier in the day, the venue was cleared with the help of sniffer dogs. The Red Zone was sealed from all the sides so as to keep the workers away from the important state buildings. Main control room was established at Rescue-15 office. The Interior Minister monitored the situation while sitting in the Punjab House while Secretary Interior, Chief Commissioner ICT, Deputy Commissioner, IG Islamabad and other high-ups of the interior ministry remained present in the Red Zone throughout the day to monitor the situation. Keeping in view the convenience of the participants, the authorities did not suspend mobile phone service.