Conflicts & War

Pakistan beefs up security in capital amid increased terror threat

Islamabad, Dec 27 (EFE).- The authorities in Pakistan beefed up security in the capital city of Islamabad in light of growing security concerns, according to a statement by the city’s police on Tuesday.

The police said the “special security plan” would include putting up check posts in the city and urging citizens and foreigners to carry their identification documents with them.

As per the plan, temporary security check posts have been established at 25 different locations in the city.

Entry points of the Red Zone, where diplomatic missions are located, are to be recorded via security cameras.

The police urged citizens to carry their identification documents and use official number plates on vehicles while traveling, adding that video surveillance of metro bus passengers would also be conducted.

“Foreign nationals should carry their identification documents with them,” Islamabad police said.

It further said any citizen found to be employing unregistered local or foreign workers will also be investigated.

The security plan comes as the country witnesses a rise in terror incidents after the outlawed Tehereek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), or the Pakistani Taliban, called off its ceasefire with the government last month.

A TTP suicide bomber accompanied by a woman detonated his car during a police checking in Islamabad last week, killing three people.

Following the attack, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and other countries issued security alerts asking their citizens to limit their movement and avoid unnecessary travel in the city.

The US embassy in Islamabad had issued a security alert, prohibiting its staff from visiting the city’s Marriott Hotel due to concerns of a “possible attack.” A massive bombing at the Marriot Hotel in 2008 killed more than 50 people.

The Islamabad police raised security to high alert in the capital after last week’s incident.

The police had said that checking was increased at all entry and exit points and requested the public to cooperate during inspections.

The TTP is an umbrella group of several armed organizations established in 2007 with the aim of establishing an Islamic state in Pakistan.

Since its inception, the group has carried out a brutal campaign of terrorist attacks across the country and killed thousands of people, including an assassination attempt in 2012 against activist Malala Yousafzai, who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Although Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban began a process of dialog last year and agreed on a ceasefire, with the Afghan Taliban playing mediator, the TTP has resumed attacks after declaring that the talks had failed.

The insurgents had continued to attack the security forces in the name of self-defense, especially in the Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, emboldened by the ongoing political instability in the country.

Politicians, members of the civil society and activists have urged the government to take measures against the growing threat of the Pakistani Taliban. EFE


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