Lahore: For the first time in Pakistan, 'tracking chips' will be installed in the feet of 1,600 terror suspects in Punjab province by the end of this month to monitor their movements.
The terror suspects have been placed under Fourth Schedule of Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 that lists all the known suspects belonging to banned militant or sectarian groups who could pose a threat to public peace and security.
"For the first time in the country's history, the law enforcement agencies will start 'electronic surveillance' of 1,600 terror suspects by installing a tracking device at their ankles (commonly known as ankle-band) to monitor their movements," a senior official from Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department told PTI.
"We have bought the tracking devices from a couple of countries and by the end of this month the process of installing them in the ankles of the terror suspects will begin. The suspects who have been allowed to stay in restricted areas will be summoned and the tracking chip will be installed," the official said.
The use of this modern technology would not only help the law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on the suspects' movements but also help reach 'hard core terrorists', he said.
After installation of the ankle-band it would be difficult for the suspects to leave the restricted area, he said.
The government decided to install the 'ankle-band' after reports that a number of high-profile members of the banned groups were flouting its order to 'stay in a restricted area'.
Militant outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi chief Malik Ishaq, who was on the Proscribed List, reportedly managed to leave the country for Saudi Arabia to perform religious ritual, Umrah, in the past without the permission of the government.
Under the law, a suspect of the Fourth Schedule may leave the 'restricted area' after taking permission from the government.