Pakistani capital on high alert for regional meeting

14:56, June 23, 2010      

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Security has been put on high alert on Wednesday in Pakistani capital Islamabad for a 3-day regional meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations.

Some 1,700 police personnel have been dispatched in the city to perform their security duty round the clock as the third SAARC interior ministers meeting kicked off on Wednesday morning.

Ahead of the conference, host Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik stressed fool proof security measures in a meeting on Monday in view of a recent wave of terrorist incidents across the Islamic nation.

Overall security has also been tightened and extra deployment is also made in various areas in the capital. Contingents of para- military Rangers and Frontier Constabulary are also assisting Islamabad police in the security arrangements.

At least 12 police pickets have been erected in various areas leading to the venue of the meeting with a purpose of elaborate security.

Police Commandoes have been deputed around sensitive locations and important buildings while policemen equipped with sophisticated weapons will also perform their duties at the roof tops to encounter any sort of mishap.

Special police teams have been constituted by each police station for effective patrolling in its respective jurisdiction and police officials in civil uniforms have been assigned the task to keep vigilance against suspicious elements.

Inspector General of Police Islamabad, Syed Kaleem Imam, directed for effective coordination among all wings of Islamabad police including Operational Police, Criminal Investigation Department, Security Division and Special Branch on this occasion.

Sniffer dogs have been sent at police pickets erected at entry and exit points of the capital for effective checking of vehicles. Special search of the forest and green belts of the city has also been ordered.

The idea of holding an annual conference of the 8-member SAARC, comprising Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan, was approved in its 13th summit held in Dhaka in November 2005 with terrorism, narcotics and organized crimes on agenda.

The leaders of SAARC forum have condemned terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations and agreed that terrorism was a challenge to all countries and a threat to humanity which could not be justified on any grounds.

Subsequently, the first interior ministers conference was held in Dhaka in May 2006 while the next session was organized in New Delhi in October 2007. The third meeting has been postponed several times due to terrorist attacks and political agendas.

Source: Xinhua


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