Security in place as PPP long march arrives in the capital today

ISLAMABAD: The capital police have agreed to provide security cover to the participants of the PPP long march which is expected to reach Islamabad on Tuesday (today), PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said on Monday.

Mr. Khokhar had submitted an application to the capital police chief on March 4, seeking security arrangements at Rawat but received no response.

The senator told Dawn that he later expressed concern in a tweet after which SSP Operations Mohammad Faisal informed him that security had been provided to the participants at Rawat. A tent village is also established at Rawat for 50,000 people, Mr. Khokhar added.

About 40,000 to 60,000 people are taking part in the long march, he said.

Participants will reach D-Chowk via Islamabad Expressway by 4pm, says senator

“We will reach Rawat around midnight. The route of the march was changed from Murree Road to Islamabad Expressway due to the Test match being played in Rawalpindi. We are committed to reaching D-Chowk by 4pm on Tuesday (today),” he said.

Meanwhile, sources in the police said a contingent of paramilitary troops along with Punjab, KP and Islamabad police would be deployed in the capital, including in Red Zone.

Verbal permission was given to the PPP to set up a stage at D-Chowk. However, the same was denied to organisers of different rallies planned in connection with the International Women Day on Tuesday.

The long march of the PPP will enter the capital from Rawat and move on the expressway and Jinnah Avenue to reach D-Chowk, the police said, adding those coming to the capital from the KP side will use Srinagar Highway to reach D-Chowk.

Containers were being put on D-Chowk at Constitution Avenue side to seal the area to avoid entry of the participants of the long march. Besides, containers are also being put at Serena Chowk and Kashmir Chowk.

Police and paramilitary troops, including anti-riot units, will be deployed on Aga Khan Road and Constitution Avenue, they said, adding paramilitary troops were being deployed inside the Red Zone and around important installations.

Traders of Blue Area are likely to close their businesses on Tuesday due to the PPP march.

Roads leading towards the National Press Club are also likely to be sealed by putting containers due to the rallies to be taken out by women rights activists.

The organisers of the rallies had sought permission but the same were denied

Ukraine parades captured Russian soldiers for cameras

KYIV: The Ukrainian military has paraded captured Russian soldiers before the media and made them recite repentances for their invasion, prompting the Red Cross to warn prisoners must not be mistreated.

Eyes red, faces gaunt and in some cases scratched, 10 young Russians in green fatigues were lined up before the press and cameras at an event attended by AFP on March 4.

Some of them stared at their boots and avoided looking at the cameras, while others appeared more at ease.

It was the second such act in a week organized by Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service.

The Ukrainian defense ministry and the SBU did not respond to questions from AFP about their methods.

Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich called in an online video for “humane treatment of prisoners”. He reminded viewers that Ukraine’s western partners were watchful on the subject.

Blindfolded with tape, the soldiers were pushed along on single file, holding one another by the shoulders to keep from falling.

They were then groomed and taken into a room where they were shown videos of Russian bombardments, while a Ukrainian officer named the cities being bombed.

“Look what your army is doing,” the officer said. “They would tell your parents that you died on maneuvers, not that you were here.” Each soldier then faced the cameras and stated his name, his unit, and how he had entered Ukraine.

Each said that he was voluntarily stepping up to condemn Russia’s invasion — using the same phrases as the other soldiers.

Each soldier said he was being well treated and ended by calling on Russians not to believe their President Vladimir Putin’s “lies”.

Russia has not reacted specifically to these appearances, but more generally its defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov on February 27 said Russian prisoners of war were facing “torture”. He compared them to victims of “the German Nazis and their henchmen”.