Barricaded Islamabad turns into security zone post emergency declaration

November 14th, 2007 - 8:25 am ICT by admin  
The well-organized capital city, which has been divided into eight zones, a diplomatic enclave, a commercial district, an educational sector, an industrial area and so on, each with its own shopping area and park, appeared to have been converted into a virtually inaccessible security zone, barricaded from all sides.

Police were seen positioning unrolled coils of barbed wire to block access to key government and state installations. The main road to the parliament, the Aiwan-e-Sadr (presidential residence) and Supreme Court buildings continue to be blocked off by dividers, police and paramilitaries.

Police and paramilitary Rangers have set up posts near the state-run radio and television stations as well as at luxury hotels in the capital.

Movement towards judges’ residences has been blocked. Shops were open, but traffic was thin and markets were quiet.

The government has detained key opposition figures such as cicket legend turned politician Imran Khan, Javed Hashmi, the acting president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and 10 party activists in Islamabad and Multan.

Khan has reportedly been arrested for his diatribe against Musharraf on Saturday, in which he demanded the military ruler’s death on charges of treason against the state. Hashmi on the other hand, is being seen as a rallying point for the opposition.

He has been campaigning for the return of civilian rule in Pakistan and was serving a 23 year jail term since 2003 when the Supreme Court granted him bail in August this year. He was jailed for inciting mutiny in the army, forgery and defamation.

Meanwhile, the police are continuing with their raids on leaders of various political parties in various parts of country including Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta and Hyderabad.

Security has been beefed up outside the Supreme Court amid fears that the legal fraternity might stage a protest. (ANI with inputs)

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