South Asia

Islamabad ramps up checkpoints as part of ‘special’ security plan

Amid growing security concerns, Pakistani authorities have set up 25 temporary checkpoints in the city and order locals and foreigners to carry identification documents.

The move comes as Pakistan continues to see a rise in terror incidents, particularly after the militant Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called off a ceasefire between them and the government in November.

On Friday, an explosion in Islamabad killed a police constable and left six others wounded. This was the first major incident of terrorism in Islamabad following the onset of the recent wave of militancy that was initially limited to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, local media reported.

Two days after the explosion, the US embassy in Islamabad issued a security alert, prohibiting its staff from visiting the city’s Marriott Hotel due to concerns of a “possible attack”.

The same day, Islamabad police had raised security to high alert in the capital.

In addition, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Australia issued separate security alerts on Monday, asking their citizens to limit their movement in Pakistan.

The new security plan requires locals and foreigners to carry identification documents with them, while vehicles will be checked including number plates.

According to the guidelines, landlords and employers have to register their tenants and employees at a nearby police station or khidmat marakiz (facilitation centers).

Police said citizens who employ unregistered local or foreign workers would also be investigated and stated that members of the public must inform authorities of any unusual activity.