ISLAMABAD - An important meeting at the ministry of interior Tuesday decided to deal protestors of long march with an iron hand if they resort to any kind of violence.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan here on Tuesday presided over an important meeting at the ministry of interior to review the overall security situation of the country, particularly of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, ahead of announced Azadi March of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Revolutionary March of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on August 14 in Islamabad.

An official source aware of the developments informed that the ministry had also directed the Islamabad capital territory (ICT) police to start a crackdown against PTI workers in the capital area and make maximum arrests in this connection. He also said that the meeting discussed the arrests of PTI workers, placement of containers at various points to seal the ICT and digging of trenches in various parts of the city.

An official statement issued by the ministry of interior quoting Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the chair told the participants that violent protestors or some groups of violent protestors would not be allowed at any cost to resort to violence in the capital. “Those people who are breaking hands of the police, martyring their own people and beheading the people cannot be left free in Islamabad city,” the statement said quoting interior minister.

Nisar said, “If any violent crowd was allowed to protest in the capital for one time then after every few months a more violent crowd of people will threaten to come to Islamabad and take over the government and that could not be allowed at all as we will not let Pakistan become Somalia, Iraq or Libya.” The chair ordered the local administration and the police of twin cities to take protective and precautionary measures to protect the lives and property of citizens of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. He said it should be ensured that common citizens should face minimum inconvenience due to the political and non-political activities and their routine life should not be much affected.

Police should not protect the government but should defend their values, Islamic beliefs and the democratic system, the chair advised. Nisar further said every political activity within constitution and law would be respected, however assault on capital of Pakistan and paralysis of life of common citizens would not be allowed. The meeting stressed on mutual cooperation between the administrations of the two cities for tackling any untoward situation. The meeting also decided that irrelevant persons should not be allowed to enter the Red Zone on August 14 and afterwards. The participants of the meeting were informed that 21,000 personnel of police, Rangers and FC will be deployed to control the law and order situation in the federal capital.

The interior minister urged the administration to strictly watch the entry and exit points of Islamabad so that law and order situation can be controlled in the capital.