Saleem ShahidUpdated September 17, 2018
QUETTA: Around 20,000 personnel of police, Levies force and Frontier Corps will be deployed in Balochistan to provide security to mourning processions on the 7th and 10th of Muharram.
This information was given to Home Minister Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa in a meeting held here to review the overall security situation in the province.
The minister presided over the meeting.
“The Muharram security plan was reviewed in the meeting keeping in view the recent remote control blast in Pishin and a security alert issued by the authorities concerned,” official sources said.
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The security apparatus, they said, was highly alert in provincial capital Quetta where heavy contingents of police and FC personnel had been deployed at all Imambargahs and routes leading to the venues of Majalis.
The home minister was told that checking of hotels and rented houses had begun in Quetta. “Checking of the record of the families living in rented houses is already under way,” the officials concerned told the meeting.
“Two control rooms have been set up for direct monitoring of all Muharram processions,” the meeting was informed.
The minister directed senior security officials to ensure adequate security measures for participants of Majalis and mourning processions.
He was told that special security arrangements had been put in place for the Aashura (the first 10 days of Muharram).
Over 130 CCTV cameras would be installed along the routes of mourning processions and at other sensitive places in the provincial capital where 48 new check-points are being set up. Patrolling in and around the city would be increased, the meeting was informed.
Balochistan’s Home Secretary Haider Ali Shekoh, Additional Inspector General Police Chaudhry Manzoor Sarwar, DIG of Quetta range Abdul Razzaq Cheema, the DIG of special branch and other senior officials attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, DIG Cheema told a press conference later that in view of the threat alert issued by intelligence agencies regarding Muharram processions, security had been beefed up in and around the provincial capital.
He said that over 7,000 policemen and FC troops would provide security to the processions of the 10th of Muharram in the city where check-points were already active along 68 routes leading to various Imambargahs where Majalis were being held.
Mr Cheema said that the security plan for Muharram processions had been jointly prepared by the police and Frontier Corps Balochistan.
Three battalions of Pakistan Army will remain on standby. The processions will be monitored through air surveillance.
Around 3,000 policemen would provide security to the Muharram 7 procession in Quetta which would emerge from Imambargah Kalan, the DIG said. Additional FC force will be deployed along the procession routes.
Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2018