LAHORE: The Punjab government has completed an exercise in wake of ongoing operation in the southern areas of province to ensure security arrangements against terrorist attacks across the province, it has been learnt.

Official sources told that the exercise was undertaken after Gulshan-e-Iqbal tragedy that claimed many precious lives and prior to the operation in the Kacha area to counter terrorism. The joint operation of Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD), Rangers, army and Punjab Police against the terrorists in South Punjab like Chotu gang in Kacha Jamal could trigger mess in other parts of the province, they held.

Though the Punjab government has already beefed up the security arrangements after APS Peshawar terrorist attack in the aftermath of serious security threats the country was facing.

Special teams comprising additional secretaries to Home department, Superintendent of Police (SPs) and representatives of the intelligence agencies visited all the divisions of Punjab. The Punjab government has already directed the district administrations to take cognizance of the weak security apparatus at places vulnerable to terrorist threats.

According to the official sources, the teams visited all the big and small towns of the province and tightened the security arrangements at places vulnerable to attacks. The local administrations had already forced the school managements to install walkthrough gates, appoint security men on the main entrances and acquire other modern gadgetry where required.

The high level teams visited the places that could be an easy target to security attacks. Such places include churches, educational institutions, courts, government offices and other places where people visit daily.

The Punjab government like other provinces has already done legislation on security of vulnerable places. The law makes it binding on owners of the hostels, plazas or other buildings to take steps that include biometric system, security alarm, walk-through gates and CCTV cameras etc.

An officer told The Nation requesting anonymity that earlier main focus of police was government buildings, residences of the senior political leaders, offices of the law enforcement agencies and such other places. Now, the police are directed to ensure other public places like parks and picnic points, schools, hospitals etc. Mosques and churches were already under strict surveillance, he claimed. He said that the teams also pointed out security flaws and directed the local administrations to fill them and ensure foolproof security. He said that the police were directed to ensure patrolling vigilantly.

The Punjab government promulgated many laws like Punjab Security of Vulnerable Establishments Ordinance 2015 and Punjab Information of Temporary Residents Ordinance 2015 – to counter terrorism.

Moreover, under the law security advisory committees to identify and recommend the establishments for notification as vulnerable establishments, inspect a vulnerable establishment on quarterly basis, issue advice, in writing, to the manager of a vulnerable establishment for such security arrangements as may be necessary on the basis of threat perception, resources at the disposal of the establishment and other related factors. Moreover, the DCO could also declare any establishment a vulnerable one and maintain a list of such establishments.