Islamabad police on Monday said the law and order situation in the federal capital was “under control”, clarifying that no notification had been issued regarding the closure of universities.
The statement came after TV channels and media reports claimed educational institutions in Islamabad had been shut down for an indefinite period of time due to security threats.
A Geo News report quoted police sources as saying that security was already beefed up in the capital due to the upcoming elections and ongoing sit-in by Baloch protesters at the press club.
In a video statement released on social media platform X, Islamabad police chief Dr Akbar Nasir said: “There are some reports circulating regarding schools and colleges in Islamabad. I want to tell you that the security and law and order situation in Islamabad are under control.”
“At this moment, there is a complete ban on illegal gatherings in Islamabad,” he said, adding that “some people” who were trying to hold such gatherings in the city had been informed about the dangers.
“Despite this, we provide them security. But the provision of security is a two-sided process and we will need your cooperation in it,” Nasir said.
The police chief went on to say that the situation at the moment in Islamabad did not call for residents to disturb their daily life and stop going to schools or colleges. He added that citizens should follow the police’s social media accounts for further updates.
Separately, the focal person to Islamabad’s additional deputy commissioner, Ali Khan, told media.com that no notification pertaining to closure of educational institutions had been issued.
Threat alerts have nothing to do with polls: minister
Meanwhile, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi has said security alerts were issued on threats to people’s lives and relevant institutions were taking precautionary measures for public safety.
In response to a question, he said threat alerts had nothing to do with polls, asserting that general elections would be held on February 8.
“In the past, general elections were successfully conducted despite security issues in the country […] there is no problem in conducting the upcoming February 8 general elections as well,” he said.
The minister, citing the examples of the 2008 and 2013 elections, remarked that despite serious security problems these polls were held in a timely manner, and urged the people to have faith in the capabilities of the security agencies.
With just a few weeks remaining for the upcoming polls, Pakistan has recently seen an uptick in terrorism. Earlier this month, an independent candidate was killed in a gun attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s North Waziristan.
Acknowledging the presence of threats in various parts of the country, top government and security officials had assured the ECP last week of their readiness to hold general elections.
Reviewing preparations for the Feb 8 polls, with a focus on the law and order situation, the meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja was given assurances that all arrangements were in place to hold elections and deal with “any kind of situation”.
Last month, former interior minister Sarfraz Ahmad Bugti had said the ECP would be given full security needed to hold the upcoming general elections in a peaceful environment.