Islamabad/Rawalpindi - Residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, including students and traders, continued to suffer owing to sit-in of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) at the Faizanad Interchange, which entered the sixth day on Monday. 

The educational institutions of federal capital marked a thin attendance of students and staff due to the TLYRA’s sit-in at Faizabad Interchange.  The TLYRA’s protestors have blocked entrance into the capital, causing problems for students who have to reach their institutions.

Since many institutions of secondary and higher education in public sector are holding mid-term examinations at this time, the students travelling from outskirts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are facing problem to reach the examination centres.

President Federal Government Teachers Association (FGTA) Malik Ameer Khan said that both the students and teachers have to suffer because of the ongoing protest.

He said that no directions have been issued by the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) up till now to extend the examination date or compensate the students and staff commuting through the troubled areas.

Director Administration FDE Dr Tariq Masood informed that there has been no direction of changing the schedules since majority of the students are from the federal city.  “FDE transport is commuting inside the city and no major halt is expected in the activities of FDE schools,” he said.

Meanwhile, International Islamic University (IIU) students are facing problems to reach the university since a number of departments have started mid-term examination.

Talking to The Nation, a student of computer science department Alamgir Khan complained that no transport facility is provided by the university for students from troubled areas, adding it takes two hours to reach the institutions through the alternative route.  “This situation is affecting our academic performance as majority of time is being consumed in travelling between the twin cities,” he said.  Dr Shhehzad Ashraf said that the strength of students and staff has shrunk since the sit-in began.

Resident Officer Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Gul Majeed Khan said that along with thin attendance of students and staff in the campus, the newly admitted students are facing immense difficulties.

 “Some of the students reportedly had to stay in hotels at Rawalpindi due to chaos created in the city,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Rawalpindi, Jamil Khaliq, President Tiles and Fancy Lights Traders Association Faizabad, told a news conference at the Rawalpindi Press Club that Traders were suffering huge losses due to blockage of Faizanad Interchange by the activist of TLYR.

He said that traders of tiles and fancy lights are facing a huge loss owing due to presence of TLYR protestors at the Faizabad Interchange while the government is not listening to their complaints in this regard. He said it has become a routine of the political and religious parties to block Faizabad Interchange whenever they wanted and as a result the traders have to face the consequences. He said the labourers are sitting idle and their families are facing hardships in meeting their both ends. The gigantic traffic jam is another issue the traders are experiencing since the last five days, he said.  Though the government has imposed section 144 in the city, yet a handful of protestors of the TLYR violated the ban, he lamented. He said the government is not in sight to control a few hundred protestors who have hijacked the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad by blocking Faizabad Interchange. Jamil Khaliq appealed to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to take action against the protestors and make the roads free for traffic movement. 

APP adds: The twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi faced a massive traffic jam on Monday due TLYR’s sit-in at Faizabad Interchange.

Around 3,000-3,500 protestors have blocked all roads leading to Faizabad Interchange by placing barricades and forced the administration to limit the service of Metro Bus between twin cities and private transport service at Faizabad Bus Terminal.

Commuters are facing problems getting from one place to another while protestors wielding bamboo sticks are sitting at the various points not allowing traffic to move in the vicinity of Faizabad.

The protestors’ demands include punishing all those allegedly involved in making changes to Khatam-e-Nabuwat declaration for electoral candidates.

Heavy contingent of police along with Rangers and other law enforcement agencies have been deployed to maintain law and order situation who are showing maximum restraint and trying to resolve the issue through dialogue.