Islamabad, Nov 9: Former Pakistan Prime Minister and the chairperson Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Benazir Bhutto was placed under house arrest here Friday to prevent her from leading a public rally in Rawalpindi.
Sherry Rehman, a spokesperson of the PPP told a news agency that Bhutto has been placed under virtual house arrest to stop her from holding rally against President General Pervez Musharraf's decision of imposing emergency in the state.
However, government officials have been denying the reports saying that police had cordoned off the PPP leader's residence to provide her full protection.
Syeda Abida Hussain, who had recently joined the PPP said that Benazir has been served with a detention order, which Bhutto has refused to accept. Another leader of the party claimed that thousands of its supporters have been taken into custody ahead of the rally. "It is a massive crackdown on our party," he said.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, the Federal Railways Minister while talking to a private news channel said that in view of the "terror threats," Bhutto was taken into safe custody to avoid any untoward incident as there had been reports that terrorists have entered in the city. ÿ
Following the deteriorating law and order situation, unprecedented security arrangements were made in the twin city Rawalpindi and Islamabad; heavy contingents of Punjab police were deployed in both the cities early this morning. The law enforcement agencies have blocked all the roads leading to Liaqat Bagh alongside the Murre Road where Benazir was scheduled to address a public rally. According to Rawalpindi police chief, over 6000 policemen have been deployed in the city.
Meanwhile, the city Nazim (administrator), Javaid Ikhalas while talking to PTV-N ews said that in view of the law and order situation the government had banned public rallies in the city and no one would be allowed to violate the ban, otherwise law enforcement agencies would take serious action against those who defy the law.