Police will clear capital of protesters within two days: IGP

Pic14-043 ISLAMABAD: Nov 14 – Activists of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) chant slogans during their sit-in protest at Express Highway. ONLINE PHOTO by Waseem Khan

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khalid Khattak on Tuesday said that Islamabad police would clear the area from Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah protestors within two to three days.

He was speaking to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) convened under former federal minister Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah’s chairmanship at the Paliament House.

“We have held negotiations with the representative of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah and hope to announce that the area held by the protestors has been cleared, very soon,” the IGP stated.

The PAC members laid their various concerns regarding the ongoing protest before the IGP.

PAC member Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah demanded to know when the two million people of Islamabad would get relief from the constraints caused by the one thousand protestors. Khalid Khattak responded that the protestors were presenting very serious demands and that the administration was focusing hard on negotiating with them, adding that people will soon receive the good news that the protest had ended.

Another member Sheikh Rohale Asghar also voiced his concerns, saying that the ICT lacked sufficient capacity to deal with the issue.

In response to a briefing from officials of the Interior Ministry, who said that 1,700 high-quality, 4G-linked cameras had been installed in the capital under the Safe City project, PAC member Azam Swati raised concerns that 1,700 cameras were insufficient for the entire city, adding that terrorists were smarter than the government and that the government needed to install more cameras on important buildings.

The IGP told the committee members that the newly installed cameras are able not only to identify vehicles but also the faces of culprits involved in crime.

He said that the department had solved 190 cases of car and 73 cases of motorcycle theft, while 83 people had been arrested over allegations of theft and 41 had been arrested in connection with 14 abductions. Incidents of car and mobile phone snatching have decreased by 60 percent, he further claimed.

While member of the committee Sheikh Rasheed reiterated the concern whether cameras were enough for security, adding that incidents of terrorism were rampant in USA and UAE in spite of security cameras, PAC Chairman Khursheed Shah said that one would have to visit the offices where the city’s surveillance was taking place in order to get the right answers.