Islamabad - Extraordinary security measures taken for PTI leader Imran Khan, who has won the elections on the promise of change, have not only belied his own words but also created inconvenience to the people.
The Islamabad administration had deployed a heavy contingent of police in the evening of the election day July 25 at Bani Bala, a rural village on the outskirts of Islamabad.
The main roads leading to Imran Khan’s villa - sprawling on a ridge overlooking the Himalayan foothills, became a restricted area for the general public. Hundreds of security personnel deployed in the green fields in the suburb are checking every passer-by.
In addition to massive security presence on small roads of the village, security officials comb every single house, asking details about his or her family, contact numbers, occupation, sources of income, permanent address and temporary address.
“It was like an interview, the security staff came to our building in the morning and started asking questions, many of them were irrelevant,” said Inayat Hussain, a resident of Imran Khan Chowk.
According to Special Branch sources, three teams comprising 80 personal combed the surrounding areas Khan’s house and collected all information regarding the locals. When asked why they need to know about mobile numbers along with sensitive personal information, the source said, the high-ups have instructed to do so.
In addition to security personals, deafening sirens of security convoys, driving recklessly on the small roads of the suburb has become a nightmare for the residents.
“On Wednesday afternoon, I was driving with my family, on Korang Road, all of sudden, I saw dozens of cars approaching me fast, in my lane at a tornado speed. I applied emergency brakes as I was panicked and my kids started shouting,” said Hafiz Ibrahim, a local resident.
He said that the convoy continued at the same speed in all wrong lanes on the single road of Bani Gala. “When I recovered from the shock, I realized it was the convoy of Imran Khan, to whom I have voted to bring change in the country,” he said.
Not only Khan but his ministers-in-waiting and guests from KP, also come with huge protocols, he said.
Interestingly, PTI spokesman Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday claimed that the prime minister-in-waiting has returned the security protocol offered to him by the government.
Khan has been criticizing other politicians for the lavish lifestyle on the taxpayers’ money and had promised to do away with all prevailing protocol practices after coming to power. In his victory speech, he had said that he would be ashamed to live in a palace that is the PM House when the majority of the population lives below the poverty line. But it seems, the civil establishment has poisoned the mind of the ‘great revolutionary leader’.
“It is a standard practice, the establishment creates a fear in the minds of the prime minister, the president and other top brasses that their life was in danger just to isolate them from the general public. Khan must be smart to know that,” said a senior security official, who wished not to be named.
He rubbished most of the security reports and alerts and termed them a precautionary measure.
According to officials, over 350 security personnel have been deployed at Khan’s residence in Islamabad.
Around 250 police, 80 Rangers and around 40 Frontier Constabulary officials are deputed in Bani Gala, who are performing duty in three shifts.
No official including AIG Waqar Chohan replied to messages and calls to get his version on the issue.