Deployment of the Pakistan Army in the federal capital has been extended on Wednesday by as many as 90 days.
The district administration has issued an official notification in the matter.
Army soldiers have been deployed in Islamabad for security purposes. At least 350 soldiers are performing duties in the federal capital.
The administration had written a letter to Lecta urging for extension in stay after the period expired. Extension was sought for security reasons including Muharram processions. The soldiers will remain standby and alert to counter any ill-activity.
The development has also come in regard to Interior Ministry’s decision of handing over security maintenance to army during Muharram. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan chaired a meeting earlier to review security situation and take a decision in the matter.
According to the ministry, at least 12,000 army personnel will be deployed across the country.
The army will take care of highly-sensitive areas in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Gujranwala, Jhang, Chakwal, Dera Ismail (DI) Khan, Kohat, Hangu, Bannu and Quetta.
It should be mentioned here that DI Khan is among four district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) that have been declared extremely sensitive and are most vulnerable to terror attacks during Muharram.
Earlier, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif paid a visit to Frontier Corps (FC) headquarters in Peshawar and lauded efforts of personnel for noticeable improvement in security situation. He also credited the corps for admirable support in Operation Zarb-e-Azb.
The COAS said that the nation is proud of its armed forces and acknowledges their sacrifices in securing the country for them. The chief called for a more workable equation between Pakistan and Afghanistan border forces for stability and peace in the region.
Separately, General Sharif’s extension in tenure is also a matter that the government has to address at one point in time or another. Sources said that the government is rather inclined towards extending services of the COAS than not. More than one factor would account to the decision whenever taken by the government.
One of the several factors that would play a role in the matter would, according to the sources be government’s desire to reverse the alleged tensions that surfaced in the recent past with the armed institution.