The security and protocol arrangements made for the ‘homecoming’ rally of Nawaz Sharif may cost the national kitty up to more than Rs 25 million, officials and security experts said.
A senior police official while talking to Business Recorder on condition of anonymity told that the city police had deployed over 2500 security personnel including police, special branch, Rangers, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Frontier Constabulary (FC), traffic police and air surveillance by helicopters on August 9 in the federal capital.
The first day of Nawaz Sharif’s ‘homecoming’ rally would have cost the treasury over Rs 4 million, he estimated. He told that Rawalpindi administration had also made elaborate security arrangements for the rally. Over 4000 policemen including personnel of Elite Force Commandos and traffic had been deployed along the route of rally. “The district administration of Rawalpindi had installed CCTV cameras along the route from Faizabad to Marir Chowk and Rashid Minhas road,” he said.
Another senior official of Rawalpindi police told that massive security arrangements with the deployment of 7000 security personnel were made in Lahore on Saturday as Nawaz Sharif reached his hometown to address a public gathering. Lahore police have also conducted security sweep on the route of rally with the help of metal detectors and sniffer dogs, he said, adding that security personnel had also used biometric machines for verification of particulars of individuals during house-to-house searches.
He said that some 200 CCTV cameras have been installed on the rally route from Shahdara to Data Darbar for monitoring. Several special control rooms were set up in Lahore, he said, adding that keeping all security arrangements in view, the total expenditure will certainly go up to Rs 25 to 30 million.
Afzal Ali Shigri, a former Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh and senior security expert said that security arrangements for Nawaz Sharif are huge as it included security protocol for the former premier as well as ensuring foolproof security to the participants of the rally. “Due to massive security arrangements, it will be difficult for the concerned officials to give an exact cost figure”, he said.
He said that in such situation security officials upgrade everything including enhancement of manpower, transport and other required machinery. “The total cost of Nawaz Sharif’s ‘homecoming’ rally will be in millions”, he said. Shigri pointed out that the government also spends a huge amount of money over security arrangements for the rallies of the opposition parties.