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Police begin security audit of worship places, seminaries.

Byline: Munawer Azeem

ISLAMABAD -- The police have begun a security audit of all places of worship and seminaries in the capital as detailed in the National Action Plan (NAP).

The security audit of mosques, imambargahs and seminaries was ordered by Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations) (DIG) Waqaruddin Syed at a meeting on Thursday, which was held to review security measures and follow NAP instructions.

A senior police official told Dawn that all wings and concerned officers were asked to complete the audit before Ramazan so a comprehensive strategy can be made to counter extremism, sectarianism and terrorism.

The audit will be conducted by police teams that include the Counter Terrorism Force, the Special Branch and local police.

There are more than 900 mosques and imambargahs, as well as around 300 seminaries, in the capital's rural and urban areas, the officer said. A total of 10,000 people are affiliated with these places of worship, while seminaries have around 1,000 teaching and administrative employees and 30,000 students from across the country.

There are 199 Deobandi, 89 Barelvi, 10 Ahle Hadith and seven Shia seminaries.

Another police officer said around 50 places of worship and a few dozen seminaries are under surveillance along with their administrations. In addition, 15 ulema are being monitored by the police.

Intelligence agencies will assist the police in the audit, the officer added. The credentials of members of committees at places of worship, and of seminary staff and students will be collected once more and verified by various departments including the police from their hometowns.

During the meeting, the DIG also directed security arrangements for the entire city and placed security at high alert. He said sluggishness towards providing effective security to polio vaccination teams would not be tolerated.

He said coordination should be maintained with polio team staff, doctors and administration officials, personnel assigned security duties should be briefed. He also told the meeting that the Anti-Terrorism Force is patrolling sensitive parts of the city.

Directives were also issued to ensure security for minorities, particularly Christians, and for a comprehensive plan in this regard.

While discussing policing affairs at the police station level, he said superintendents of police from each zone should visit one police station in their areas every day and deputy superintendents of police should visit two stations every day.

He said a daily performance report should be submitted to him, and all police stations should be kept clean.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 26, 2019
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