Pakistan has taken unprecedented security measures for the upcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
As part of increased security in the twin cities, more than 1,000 security checkpoints have been established and heavy vehicles have been banned from plying on important roads in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Trainer aircraft and sorties will also be suspended for two days and authorities have been issued instructions to shoot down any drones and other unauthorised remote-controlled flying objects.
Entry of vehicles in the federal capital’s red zone will be prohibited and the Metro Bus service will be limited to Rawalpindi.
Mobile phone service will also remain suspended in specified areas of the twin cities on February 16 and 17.
Law enforcement officials will also be deployed on important roads of the twin cities and Islamabad’s major thoroughfare, Express Highway, will remain closed for VVIP movement.
Alternate routes will be provided for traffic coming in from Peshawar, Kahuta and Murree.
Express Highway will be further closed at specific timings from Koral Chowk to Faisalabad Avenue 15 U-turn.
Murree Road will remain closed from Faizabad Interchange to Serena Chowk and Shahrah-e-Dastur will remain closed from Radio Pakistan to Serena Hotel, Sohrawardi road.
Earlier, the government booked 300 super luxury Toyota Land Cruiser Prado vehicles for the royal visit starting from Sunday.
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) aerobatics team Sherdil will also enthrall the visiting dignitaries with a fly-past show using JF-17 Thunder jets.
However, Prince Mohammad will use his personal vehicles, which will be transported from the kingdom along with his other belongings. It is believed that 80 containers will be shipped to Islamabad for the crown prince and his entourage’s stay.
Sources said everything used by the Saudi visitors will be brought from the kingdom.
The Saudi prince will be accompanied by 130 royal guards during the visit and a 235-member delegation of the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC), led by Pakistan’s former army chief General Raheel Sharif, is already in the country to review security arrangements for the royal visit.
After decades of dependence on Saudi grants, Pakistan is poised to sign billions of dollars of investment deals with the kingdom during the visit scheduled to begin from February 17, including a multibillion-dollar oil refinery in Gwadar.