ISLAMABAD-After negotiations between government and the opposition parties on the venue of Azadi March had entered a deadlock, the district administration of Islamabad has been making plans to confront the marchers.

The Interior Ministry has given the police and the district administration a freehand to deal with the situation, according to the officials. The police, however, have been directed to exercise maximum restraint and avoid use of force as long as the marchers remain peaceful. The officials said that it has been decided in a high-level meeting to block all Islamabad entrance points from October 29 so that ‘miscreants’ could not reach Islamabad from other cities. Senior officials of police, district administration, and law enforcing agencies attended the meeting.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has ruled out any change in the schedule of Azadi March. JUI-F-led opposition parties want to hold Azadi March rally in the D-Chowk of Islamabad on October 31. However, the government has not allowed them and rather offered them to hold the rally at the Parade Avenue which has led to a deadlock between the two sides.

According to the police plan presented in the meeting, Islamabad will be divided into three security zones. The first zone will deploy over 2,000 police personnel while the second and third zone will deploy around 1,000 Frontier Corps and 1,000 Rangers respectively while around 5,000 police reserve force will be on call to meet any emergent situation, according to the initial plan. The law-enforcers will also cordon off Red Zone with barbed wire and water cannons will be deployed to block protesters’ entry. Prior to the march, the district administration has parked shipping containers along the entrance and exit points of Islamabad so as to seal the entry points on a short notice. The logistics department has sought 450 containers, according to a senior police official. Police have been directed to remain alert and their leaves have also been cancelled.