In self-defence: ICT police calls for deploying armed units for PTI’s long march in Islamabad

Fearing there was “high likelihood” of violence by armed supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) when they enter the city as part of the long march, police in the federal capital on Wednesday asked the federal interior ministry to deploy additional contingents and armed units to ensure their safety and security, in self-defence.

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Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police Inspector General (IG) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan wrote to the federal interior ministry on Wednesday expressing fears that PTI protesters bearing down on the federal capital could be armed with lethal weapons.

“There is credible information from open sources in the news channels, public statements of supports and office holders of PTI with regard to the unlawful use of lethal weapons, lethal pointed batons, catapults and other weapons etc. by some PTI workers and protestors during the upcoming long march,” read the letter, a copy of which is available with SAMAA TV .

Moreover, he said that information gathered by the operations branch of the police and other sources, PTI was allegedly amassing unlawful paraphernalia on the boundaries of the federal capital within the jurisdiction of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab.

He said that the “deployment of a suitable number of armed police and other units” was essential to protect the lives of the anti-riot force of the police, the Frontier Constabulary and Punjab Rangers, the people of the federal capital and other participants of the march.

“It is therefore, requested that the Ministry of Interior may kindly be approached on priority basis with the request to accord necessary guidance, if they believe otherwise, for deployment of these armed units during the upcoming PTI long march exercising the right of self-defense as per the laws,” Dr Akbar wrote.

He assured that all units deployed during the march will “discharge their duties without any fear and with full care for the people as per the law to perform their duties despite the fact that there is high likelihood of violence as per arrangements by the PTI leadership.”

Ambulances sought

In addition to additional contingents of police, an Islamabad additional district magistrate wrote to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on Wednesday, requesting the deployment of additional ambulances.

In the letter, CDA’s Emergency and Disaster Management director has been asked to place 10 ambulances, relevant paramedical staff and five fire brigades at the disposal of the capital’s civic administration.

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