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Friday Nov 15 2019
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Fazl's Azadi March cost a whopping Rs527.6m to law enforcement agencies

ISLAMABAD: The Azadi March by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, cost Pakistan's law enforcement agencies more than Rs527.60 million in terms of security arrangements in the federal capital.

Interestingly, however, the additional contingents of security personnel called in specifically for the Azadi March are still stationed in Islamabad and the costs of their food and transportation ongoing.

Activists of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) gather on containers during an anti-government "Azadi (Freedom) March" in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 3, 2019. AFP/Farooq Naeem

According to reports, at least 680 containers had been rented for security arrangements. Officials explained that no matter how long the sit-in had continued, the rent had been agreed at Rs500,000 per container — translating into Rs71.40 million in total.

Rangers deploy on the constitution avenue during an anti-government "Azadi (Freedom) March" in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 3, 2019. AFP/Farooq Naeem
Rangers stand guard outside the Pakistan Television during an anti-government "Azadi (Freedom) March" in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 3, 2019. AFP/Farooq Naeem

Some 19,000 personnel of the Frontier Corps (FC), police, and other law enforcement agencies had been summoned in from various cities to the federal capital to beef up the security ahead of and during the Azadi March. The per-day costs of accommodation, petrol, food, and beverages for these officers totalled Rs30 million, as per the city administration, aggregating to Rs450 million for 15 days.

Also read: Fazl warns will go even further than blocking highways

The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus, which was suspended from October 31 to November 13 due to the Azadi March, suffered a loss worth Rs3.30 million a day, according to its operations manager, Shumaila Mohsin. That, in turn, added up to Rs46.20 million in the 14-day period.

Rangers deploy in front of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's office during an anti-government "Azadi (Freedom) March" in Islamabad, Pakistan, November 3, 2019. AFP/Farooq Naeem

Therefore, all in all, the total security cost in the federal capital aggregated to more than Rs527.60 million but expenses for the officers still in the city were continuing, as of reporting time.

Related:

JUI-F sets 'Plan B' wheels in motion as govt beefs up security

PM calls core committee meeting to discuss JUI-F protests, Nawaz

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