LAHORE - In the backdrop of Gulshan-e-Iqbal suicide attack, the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has started improving security arrangements at seven major parks in Lahore.

In the meantime, public will be allowed entry and these parks will be closed by 10pm.

Playfields for children, however, will remain closed till implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for security.

Some major parks were closed for public after Gulshan-e-Iqbal tragedy last Sunday that claimed 75 lives and injuries to more than 300 people including women and children. These parks were partially opened after couple of days though with far less attendance than the normal routine due to fear.

Bagh-e-Jinnah, Jillani Park, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Jallo Park, Minar-e-Pakistan Park, Ideal Park Township and National Park Kalima Chowk are seven major parks attracting huge number of people including women and children on daily basis. Extra ordinary rush of people is being witnessed on weekend and public holidays.

“We are working on improving security at these major parks. Jillani Park was closed for public for only one day,” PHA Deputy Director Shahzad Tariq told The Nation. He said that CCTV cameras have been installed and all the existing ones have been made functional.

Walkthrough gates will be installed at all the entry points of these parks. Barbed wire will be erected on existing boundary walls. Security guards have been provided metal detectors and no one is allowed entry without scanning.

“We are trying to bring the security arrangements up to the mark as early as possible. Public is allowed to visit and remain in the park till 10pm. Playfields will be opened after fully implementing the SOPs,” he added.

According to the PHA officer, the authority was identifying more parks for improving security arrangements. “Security arrangements will also be improved at other big parks,” he assured.

In a statement yesterday, the provincial government also ordered to close all the parks at 6pm on Saturday and Sunday to avoid any further mishap.

Also, the local district administration shut down unauthorised Sunday markets in Gulshan Ravi and Iqbal Town and enhanced the security of the area.

On March 27, a suicide bomber had blown himself up in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, killing 75 people and injuring over 300 others.

Several search operations were conducted to eliminate the metropolis from terrorists and other criminals. Dozens of suspects have taken into custody while the security institutions including Rangers and Pakistan Army have intensified the operation against militants across the province.