INTERNATIONAL

Pakistan Beefs Up Security Arrangements Ahead of General Elections

Pakistan

Islamabad, July 20: The Pakistan government has enhanced security across the country, especially of the politicians and for public rallies ahead of the July 25 general elections, an official said on Friday. The government held several high-level meetings last week over the security issues in which police, the Counter Terrorism Department and intelligence agencies were directed to step up security for prominent political figures under threat and sensitive installations in all provinces to thwart possible terrorist attacks.

Rallies, processions, demonstrations and public meetings have been banned except those which are allowed by the authorities and held in the secured premises, the government official told Xinhua news agency. Vigilance has been increased at important places including airports, railway stations, bus terminals, markets, hospitals, schools, religious places and recreational sites.

Police have been asked to conduct surveys of residential areas, hostels, guest houses and hotels to ensure that no miscreant is hiding. Pakistan is going to hold general elections for the National Assembly — the Lower House of the country’s Parliament — and four provincial Assemblies. Following the elections, the National Assembly will elect the country’s new Prime Minister. Tensions have risen in the country since the jailing of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges last week. He was jailed for 10 years while his daughter and presumed political heir Maryam Nawaz received a seven-year sentence. (IANS)