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Foreign NGOs suspend operations in Pak`s Punjab province

Last Updated: Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 00:45

Lahore: Government officials and foreign NGOs
working in flood-hit areas of Pakistan`s Punjab province have
suspended their activities following the killing of Osama bin
Laden due to fears of a backlash by militant groups linked to
al Qaeda.

Punjab Governor Latif Khosa had to put off a visit to
Muzaffargarh district this week to inaugurate a Pakistan Red
Crescent water purification plant and a new village for flood
victims because of security concerns, officials said.

As soon as news broke on Monday of bin Laden`s killing
during a raid by US forces near Abbottabad, international NGOs
suspended their activities, including field visits, reportedly
on the direction of their organisations.

Officials of foreign NGOs and relief agencies like Save
the Children and UNDP suspended their activities in areas
devastated by last year`s floods.

"Our activities will remain suspended till further
instructions from higher-ups," an official of Save the
Children said.

Muzaffargarh district police chief Munir Zia said police
were on alert and keeping a watch on those suspected of having
links with militants.

The district administration has appointed police and
volunteers for the safety of NGOs and foreign delegations, he

Meanwhile, all regional and district police chiefs of
Punjab have been directed to step up security in and around
army and police establishments and churches.

Sources in Punjab Police told PTI that after bin Laden`s
killing and the possibility of terror attacks on security
establishments and convoys of armed forces, all field police
officers had been strictly directed to depute policemen at
sensitive places and to monitor deployment and patrolling.

The information was passed to field formations, they

In the provincial capital Lahore, 120 additional armed
policemen have been deployed in and around sensitive
government buildings and offices of armed forces and police.

Up to 60 paramilitary Pakistan Rangers personnel have
been posted around the US Consulate near Simla Pahari.

SSP (Operations) Muhammad Faisal Rana said that in view
of alerts regarding possible attacks on establishments of
armed forces and police, security had been beefed up across
Lahore and additional police officials deputed in and around
sensitive buildings and installations.

Extra security is being provided to all foreign
consulates in Lahore, he said.


First Published: Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 00:45
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