RAWALPINDI - The security steps of law enforcement agencies to thwart PTI and PAT marches have paralyzed the routine life besides disconnecting Rawalpindi from other parts of the country.
The city district government and other LEAs blocked all entry points of the city by placing heavy containers at T-Chowk Rawat, Mandra, Faizabad Interchange, Tarnool Gujar Khan, Chakwal Road and on Chakri Road in a bid to bar the marchers from reaching Islamabad via Rawalpindi.
Life in the city came to a halt as almost all the petrol pumps started shutting down amid fear of protest and arson creating fuel shortage; traffic disappeared from roads putting the passengers into great trouble; prices of edibles have been jacked up as a large number of people thronged to Bazaars to stock kitchen and other daily use items ahead of long march.
Road closures also irked patients and their attendants who could not reach hospitals. Similarly, thousands of people, who either wanted to enter Rawalpindi or leave the city for other parts of the country, stranded in the ways due to road closures. The wholesale dealers in Raja Bazaar, Saddar, Sooter Mandi and other markets faced huge loss as traders from Azad Kashmir, Hazara, Chakwal and other areas could not reach them to buy items due to roads blockage.
Closure of petrol pumps irked commuters who could be witnessed wondering here and there in search of fuel. Several private schools, colleges and educational institutions cancelled their activities regarding Independence Day.
Amir Hussain, a laborer who was standing at Pirwadhai Bus Terminal, said that his mother was sick for last many days and he wanted to go AJK but there was no bus available. "I have been told that all the roads leading to AJK were closed ahead of marches," he said adding that "I bought medicines for my mother and have to go AJK on any cast". Sharjil Mir, a trader union representative, said that the traders were suffering from big loss as their orders and consignments could not reach them in time because police impounded containers in various areas. Raja Riaz, a transport union representative, said that all the transporters had decided in a meeting to disappear all the vehicles from roads and from bus terminals to avoid arson. He said that the government was also capturing long vehicles to place in the roads to block the ways of marchers.