RAWALPINDI – The top bosses of Rawalpindi police and other law enforcement agencies have said though they have made foolproof security arrangements to guard the Liaquat Bagh public rally, yet at the same time the chances of any untoward incident cannot be ruled out.
So the organisers, supporters and general public are advised not to hold big rallies to reach the meeting venue to avoid any security lapse. Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed along with Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan will address a mammoth public rally tomorrow (Monday) in connection with Pakistan Independence Day at Liaquat Bagh that is expected to be attended by thousands.
Seeking anonymity, a top official of Rawalpindi Police told TheNation on Saturday that comprehensive security arrangements have been finalised to protect the Monday rally at Liaquat Bagh, however, it would be very difficult for the law enforcers to guard the participants if they would come towards meeting venue in shape of big rallies.
“The political parties’ supporters and general public should reach in shape of little groups comprised 8 to 10 persons,” he said, adding that results of the same exercise that performed during PTI’s last public gathering at Liaquat Bagh on May 27 was fruitful as no untoward incident reported on that day. The other big problem might be traffic gridlock in case of any mass rally. The sacred month of Ramazan is going on and people are also thronging towards bazaars for Eid shopping. In these circumstances, the responsibilities of law enforcers have increased and it would not easy for local police to keep vigil at the whole city, he mentioned.
Recalling the country’s sadistic incident of the killing of PPP former premier Benazir Bhutto (BB), who was targeted in a gun-bomb attack on December 27, 2007 outside the entry point of the venue after speaking to a cheering crowd, Rawalpindi police boss said that it happened because of mess created by the supporters. Now the law enforcers could not tolerate the replica of any such incident, he asserted.
Therefore, the leaders of political parties should reach at Liaquat Bagh in a little convoy of 7 or 8 vehicles instead of rally of 2000 people to avoid any crunch moment.
Dismissing the rumours that police had denied to protect Sheikh Rasheed and Imran Khan’s rally at Liaquat Bagh, the police head said all were equal in the eyes of law and foolproof security would be provided to the public meeting.