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    Provincial Apex Committee takes various decisions, bans protest demos at Assembly chowk 

    Provincial Apex Committee takes various decisions, bans protest demos at Assembly chowk 

    PESHAWAR (APP): An important meeting of the Provincial Apex Committee was held here on Wednesday with the caretaker Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Muhammed Azam khan in the chair. 

    The forum reviewed in details the prevailing law and order situation   with special focus on  violent protests on 9th of May, discussed action plan and way forward in order to effectively deal with such situation in the future and made a number of decisions to this effect. 

    Caretaker provincial minister Barrister Feroz Jamal Shah Kaka Khel, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. General Hassan Azhar Hayat, Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry, IGP Akhtar Hayat Khan, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Amjad Ali Khan and other civil and military high ups attended the meeting whereas divisional commissioners also participated via video link.

    The forum condemned the violent protests on May 9 and expressed deep sorrow over the loss to precious human lives and properties during the violent protests at different spots of the province.

    While briefing about the details of damages during the violent protests, the participants were informed that protests were staged at 176 different spots of the province during which 4063 number of roads were blocked by the protestors.

     Similarly, 20 public and 10 private buildings have been damaged. The forum was further informed that so far a total of 101 FIRs have been logged against the elements involved in violent protests whereas identification of the elements involved in damaging and vandalizing private and public properties has been finalized and a number of arrests have also been made so far. 

    The forum has decided to impose ban on protest demonstrations at assembly chowk of the provincial capital Peshawar and directed the quarters concerned to take necessary steps in order to specify another suitable place for public protests in the future. 

    It was also decided in the meeting that short-term, mid-term and long-term measures would be taken to further strengthen the Anti-Riot Squad of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police with the purpose to capable them to effectively handle the such violent protests in the future.

     According to details, in the first step, Rs 303 million would be provided for the procurement of latest equipment for Anti-Riot Squad whereas the Squad would be provided with Rs 601 million and Rs 1.2 billion in the second and third steps respectively.

     Besides the forum has decided to prepare Rapid Response Contingency Plan with the sole purpose to prevent such unpleasant incidents in the future and further decided that a special police squad equipped with the latest and modern equipment would be allocated for the security of red zone. 

    It was also decided to have Joint Control Rooms at provincial and divisional levels in order to identify important public buildings and installations outside the red zone and to control such violent and unpleasant incidents in the future.

    Addressing the participants, the chief minister said that damaging and vandalizing private and public properties during protest is highly regrettable , adding that protest and freedom of expression is a democratic and constitutional right of everyone, but this right should be exercised in a peaceful manner. 

    “Vandalism under the guise of protest is illegal and unconstitutional” he said and added that police were taking action against those who are involved in damaging properties during these protests and they would be taken to the court of law.

    He made it clear that the government will maintain its writ at all costs and no one would be allowed to sabotage the law and order in the province.

    He also lauded the role of KP police, security forces and civil administration during the violent protests in the province adding that they all have performed very well in this regard.

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