Islamabad: For thousands of party enthusiasts in Pakistan’s capital here, the New Year celebrations did not go as planned as local authorities withdrew NOCs given to hotels for hosting parties to usher in 2014.

Many had paid up to Rs 16,000 per head to join the celebrations. But keeping an eye on the increased security concerns in the federal capital, the local administration suddenly decided to banish all celebrations in the city.

It was an emergency-like situation in some of the top hotels in the city where people, all decked up to celebrate, felt cheated.

While security was a major concern, another reason could be that many December 31 party packages came with unlimited booze.

In Pakistan, Muslims cannot consume alcohol legally.

The crackdown was started in Karachi, where the administration issued notification to impose ban on pillion riding, aerial firing, silencer-less bikes, one-wheeling and the use of weapons on New Year 2014 occasion.

All routes to famous Sea View beach in Karachi were blocked yesterday while shops, markets, petrol pumps and hotels located on these routes were also closed.

Despite the crackdown, Pakistanis ushered in 2014 with house parties, street celebrations and bonfire. People who suspected withdrawal of NOCs in Islamabad had set up house parties with disco lights and DJs at the last minute.

Many of those who were planning to party at a hotel, settled for house parties organised by their friends.
According to reports, the city’s authorities deployed over 10,000 security officials on the New Year eve while the markets were ordered to be closed by 10:00 pm in Islamabad.

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Free Press Journal