CM seeks all out efforts to make PSL final a memorable event

* A police team has been sent to Lahore to get a briefing on security measures taken by the Punjab government for the Pakistan-Sri Lanka match

KARACH: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Friday that he had fulfilled his promise with the residents of Karachi by making arrangements for the final of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) to be played in the city. “All government agencies concerned and the public must now work together to make the event memorable and historic.”

He expressed these views while presiding over a meeting to review arrangements for the forthcoming PSL final match in Karachi.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers for Home, Health, Local Government, and Sports departments besides the Chief Secretary, the Rangers director general, the Police inspector general, the Principal Secretary to the CM, the Karachi commissioner, secretaries for Health, Home, LG and Sports departments, and representatives of intelligence agencies. During the briefing, he was told that the stadium had the capacity to accommodate 40,000 spectators.

Giving guidelines to the officials, the CM said that there should be close coordination between all stakeholders. “Integrated efforts should be made by all security agencies to enable the teams to play the match in a safe and secure environment.”

“I have already issued directives for provision of civic facilities,” he said, emphasising the need to ensure that arrangements for the event would not become a cause of inconvenience to the public.

IG AD Khowaja told the chief minister that he had sent a team to Lahore to be briefed on security arrangements put in place by the provincial government of Punjab for recent international cricket matches played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in October 2017. Security arrangements on the same model would be made for the PSL final, he said.

Later, the chief minister constituted different committees and divided various tasks among them. An executive committee headed by the chief secretary would monitor the operations of all other committees to ensure that there were no glitches in arrangements. Separate committees were be formed for the intelligence/security and civic related issues.

The security committee included officials from the Police Department, Rangers, Army and intelligence agencies. They would share their intelligence reports among themselves on a daily basis.

The CM said civic agencies under the Local Government Department and the Karachi mayor would make arrangements for provision of lighting, drinking water, parking, sanitation and first aid in and around the stadium.

The meeting decided that there would be aerial surveillance of the match venue using helicopters to be arranged by the Karachi corps commander. Commandoes would be deployed around the stadium and police teams would take control of security inside the stadium.

The chief minister directed the health secretary to take Aga Khan Hospital and Liaquat National Hospital on board for provision of special health services if needed.

The IGP was directed to prepare a traffic plan and identify and declare alternate routes for the convenience of commuters. It was decided that the law enforcement agencies would undertake a full dress rehearsal on February 11.

“We have to facilitate each and every person who wants to watch the match in the stadium,” the CM said. The chief minister decided to convene a follow up meeting onFebruary 14 to review security arrangements.

 Published in Daily Times, February  10th 2018.