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Special security arrangements put in place for Musharraf

March 27, 2013 17:51 IST

Authorities have put in place special security arrangements in the federal capital for former President Pervez Musharraf, who received a death threat from the Taliban days before he returned to Pakistan from self-exile.

Ahead of Musharraf's scheduled arrival in Islamabad on Thursday, police have deployed three commandos outside his farmhouse at Chak Shahzad on the outskirts of the city.

Vigilance has been heightened and new road blocks have been set up near the private residence, officials told the media.

It is believed that Musharraf will also be guarded by a small contingent of army commandoes.

Shortly before the former military ruler returned to Karachi on March 24, the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan said it had formed a squad of suicide bombers and snipers to target him.

Islamabad Police, the interior ministry and intelligence agencies are working together on arrangements for Musharraf’s security.

An unnamed senior police official told the Dawn newspaper that former heads of state are entitled to protection according to "protocols outlined in the Blue Book".

However, the protocols do not specify the "number of personnel or specific arrangements" for such personalities, the official said.

Personnel at the ShahzadTown police station will be deployed at temporary pickets to scrutinise people approaching Musharraf's residence in Chak Shahzad.

Intelligence agencies too have deployed operatives around the sprawling home.

Senior police officials are expected to receive Musharraf when he arrives at BenazirBhuttoInternationalAirport in Rawalpindi, from where they will escort him to his farmhouse.

During an interaction with the media in Karachi, Musharraf said he would travel to Islamabad on March 28.

However, the date is not firm and officers responsible for Musharraf's security have not been given concrete details.

The increase in security for Musharraf has affected the capital.  

Police have begun more stringent checking procedures at Islamabad's entry points.

Female police officers have been deployed at traffic lights to investigate "suspicious women", the Dawn reported.

Islamabad Police chief Bin Yamin has ordered the deployment of additional police forces at "sensitive locations" and important buildings.

Teams armed with sophisticated weapons have been stationed on rooftops of strategic structures. "As part of our security preparation, we will provide additional logistical support and manpower to all police stations," Bin Yamin said.

Police have also formed a "Quick Response Force" to tackle any untoward situation.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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