Rawalpindi - Police have finalized the plan to provide foolproof security at churches on the occasion of Christmas in the city.

In this regard, Regional Police Officer, Wisal Fakhar Sultan Raja held a security meeting in his office here on Saturday.

The meeting was attended by City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi, SSP (Operations) Irfan Tariq, Divisional SPs, DPOs’ of Jhelum, Chakwal and Attock and other officials.

Addressing the meeting, RPO said that three-layer security would be provided to the churches where gatherings would be made on the occasion. He said that armed police personnel would stand alert on rooftops of the buildings adjacent to the churches. He noted that police would have constant patrolling around the churches and special search would also be carried out around the churches.

The police will allow no parking near the church buildings. Exhibition of arms will be banned. The police have been asked to keep special eye on fake number plate vehicles, ambulances, and double door pick-ups on the eve of Christmas. The RPO also directed the superintendent of police to monitor security duties in their respective divisions.

On the other hand, a special Christmas peace train left Rawalpindi Railway Station for Lahore under tight security of police and with colourful models and replicas highlighting beliefs of different religions and history of Pakistan.

The train stayed at the railway station for about 16 hours after it reached from Peshawar. The train will reach Karachi after travelling across the country in 15 days. The train left Rawalpindi at 9am.

The train is decorated with models of Santa Claus from different countries, Christmas tree, photos of significant religious leaders of all religions in the country, models highlighting traditions and cultures of minorities in Pakistan, and sign boards narrating history of Pakistan since the day of its establishment.

Platform was open for public to visit the railway station and have a look at the beatified special train highlighting religious harmony. A good number of people visited the railway station to appreciate the train run by Pakistan Railways.

In the meanwhile all is set for celebration of Christmas in the garrison city with traditional enthusiasm as a large of Christian community lived in the city. The biggest gathering was expected at Roman Catholic Church located at Lalkurti.

Adnan Masih, a resident of Dhamial said all is set for Christmas celebrations. “We have decorated our houses with colourful lights, flags, and balloons. Christmas trees are ready. Gifts have been purchased for children. Special food items will be prepared on the occasion” he said.

Ashir, another citizen, said Christmas celebrations were started on evening of December 24. He noted that Christian people distribute dry fruits and cakes among each other and cut special cakes on December 25.

The special mass service will be started at midnight in churches with special songs to welcome birth of Jesus Christ, said Kashif, Qaisar and Shoaib of Adiala Road. They said that children would present different tableaus highlighting events before and after the birth of Prophet Jesus Christ.