ISLAMABAD - As opposition’s anti-government “Azadi March” will reach Islamabad today for its planned power show, Ministry of Interior Wednesday decided that non-custom paid vehicles, if any, accompanying convoys of marchers would not be allowed to enter the capital.

The decision was taken during a meeting held at the ministry to review the security situation of the federal capital during the opposition’s protest rally that is scheduled to be held today besides Islamabad’s main artery.

Secretary Interior Major (retd) Azam Suleman Khan chaired the meeting that was attended by senior officers of Islamabad Administration, police and Rangers and other law enforcement.

The meeting decided that any non-custom paid vehicles would not be allowed to enter the capital and the decision has been shared with the leadership of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) who is leading the convoys that set off from Karachi and other parts of the country on Sunday to reach Islamabad on October 31.

The meeting also decided that the carrying of any kinds of weapons for the protest marchers was banned and illegal. For this purpose, a checking mechanism had been devised to ensure that weapons and non-custom paid vehicles could not make their way into the capital and this procedure has also been shared with the JUI-F.

In the light of some intelligence reports, the government believes that some non-customs paid illegal vehicles are part of the convoys of marchers heading for Islamabad, a senior government official said.

A statement issued by the ministry said that the participants reiterated that the entry of protesters was banned in Red Zone under the already signed agreement between the JUI-F and the opposition last weekend. The meeting agreed that police would perform its duties for the protest rally as the first line of defence, Rangers would remain present as the second line of defence and army has been assigned security duties of the sensitive government installations.

The officials of police and Ranger officials briefed the meeting about the arrangements to deal with the situation if the protesters violated the agreement. The strength of law enforcement requisitioned from provinces and other areas was also discussed. The meeting examined security of all entry and exit points and sensitive places of the city. It was stressed that the administration will come into action if anyone tried to create chaos and bad tastes during the protest rally. The police and administration was told to carry out an aerial examination and surveillance of protest venue and march.

The chair examined the arrangements made for the protest rally and the venue where the protest. The interior ministry said that the meeting agreed that the government would coordinate with those protesters who would follow the signed agreement for holding a peaceful rally.

Rejecting some rumours that the marchers would first enter Rawalpindi to reach Islamabad, the meeting pointed out that this would be ensured that participants would only be allowed to enter capital through already decided route of Rawat.

Chief Commissioner Islamabad Amir Ali Ahmed ensured the committee that all arrangements have been made to ensure safety of lives and properties of citizens and that the life of common citizens would not affect.

The participants were informed that a traffic plan had been devised to ensure smooth flow of traffic for the residents of Islamabad and those coming to the city for their work purposes. The details of an alternate route have been shared with the public and are being disseminated through media.