With the government planning to put in place hundreds of shipping containers to seal the twin cities and block the forthcoming long march of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), reports have revealed that the move will be costing taxpayers millions of rupees a day.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has announced leading an anti-government long march to Islamabad via Rawalpindi with plans of a lockdown. While the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has invited opposition parties for a dialogue to call off the protest, it is also preparing for the worst.
The capital will likely be sealed from October 31 onwards by either the police or the JUI-F as preparations on both sides for the Azadi March gain momentum. According to Dawn, the Islamabad police have demanded more than 550 shipping containers to intercept the march before it enters the city.
The containers include 250 for City Zone and 100 each for Saddar, Industrial Area and Rural zones, while the logistics department of the police has ordered a vendor to arrange 450 containers.
The Rawalpindi police, on the other hand, have prepared a contingency plan under which 120 freight containers will be used to seal the garrison city by blocking all roads leading to Islamabad.
According to officials, each container being procured for both the cities, costs more than Rs5,000 a day to rent, which puts the total cost of 670 containers at Rs3.3 million (Rs3,350,000) a day.