PESHAWAR/QUETTA/SUKKUR/LAHORE - Hundreds of enraged workers and supporters of JUI-F blocked the Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway for traffic on Sunday against the killing of the party's Sindh general secretary Khalid Mehmood Soomro, clashed with PTI workers in Karak and Bannu injuring at least 20 people from both sides.

The JUI-F protesting workers blocked the Motorway near Charsadda and Rashakai Inter-changes in protest against the killing of Khalid Soomro.

On the call of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the workers staged protests and sit-ins in different cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, where they blocked roads causing hardships for road users.

In Peshawar, a protest rally was taken out from Firdos Bazaar. Led by JUI-F KP Ameer Maulana Gul Naseeb Khan, the party workers marched from Firdos Bazaar to Peshawar-Islamabad Motorway and interrupted transport by placing bricks.

They demanded that the authorities order a probe into the incident and arrest the culprits at the earliest.

Also, the JUI-F enraged workers blocked Motorway at Charsadda Interchange for traffic. It was the route of CM Khattak for Islamabad to attend the PTI rally, but he had to change his route to the GT Road. A heavy contingent of police was ready to cope with any untoward situation on the occasion.

Maulana Naseeb and Senator Ghulam Ali while speaking on the occasion said that the government has failed in protecting JUI-F workers and leadership.

Clashes among the workers of JUI-F and PTI in Malakad Agency have also been reported.

A large number of the religious party workers, carrying sticks, stones and party flags in their hands, rallied from Peshawar city, blocked roads and burnt tyres.

Moreover, the protest created traffic mess on the highway at Swabi Interchange for several hours as police contingents arrived at the scene to control the situation. The administration held negotiations with the protestors to convince them to open the road.

Chief Minister Khatak also got stuck due to the blocked Motorway Interchange. On the occasion, a clash with the JUI-F workers was averted as sensing the tense situation, he decided to proceed to Islamabad through the GT Road along with his supporters. The motorway remained blocked till evening and later it was opened for traffic after the protesting workers dispersed peacefully.

A clash took place between the JUI-F and PTI workers in Karak and Bannu districts, where the former were holding protest at a road crossing and the PTI passed by. Besides, heated exchanges of words were reported between the JUI-F workers and the PTI activists.

At least 20 workers of both the parties injured in the clashes. The injured were later shifted to nearby hospitals by the rescue teams while heavy contingents of law enforcers arrived at the site to control the situation.

Protest demonstrations were also held in Mardan, Nowshera, DI Khan, Chitral, Dir, Buner, Swat, Malakand and other districts.

Meanwhile, like elsewhere in the country, the Jamiat Ullema-e-Islam, Fazlur Rehman group (JUI-F), Landikotal chapter staged a protest rally against killing of its leader ex-senator Khalid Mehmood Soomro.

Hundreds of the party workers and tribesmen from across the tehsil participated in it. The protesters led by Maulana Mujahid, Maulana Ghufran and Mufti Rahatullah Haqani were holding flags and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands.

Addressing on the occasion, the JUI-F leaders condemned the brutal killing of the religious scholar and said under the conspiracy the leaders and workers of JUI-F are being murdered in the country. They came down hard on the government and said it has totally failed to provide security to the religious leaders.

The JUI-F on Sunday also staged protests in other parts of the country apart from KP against the assassination of its leader Dr Khalid Mahmood Soomro gunned down on Saturday.

Most parts of Balochistan and Interior Sindh witnessed strong protests and sit ins by the party activists while the traders kept their shutters down and traffic was very thin.

A complete strike was observed in Sukkur, Larkana and other parts of interior Sindh where roads wore a deserted look while petrol pumps and other business activities were also suspended. The strike was also observed in Othal, Bela, Shahdadkot, Kandhkot, Karachi and other cities where business activities were suspended while transport was also seen thin.

In Karachi, the JUI-F workers staged a protest against murder at Mauripur Road, Shershah and Super Highway areas, where they blocked the roads, burnt tyres and chanted slogans.

A complete shutter down strike was observed across Balochistan province including Quetta, Chaman, Ziarat, Dera Murad Jamali, Osta Mohammad, Sibi and other major cities. Trade activities and Nato supplies remained suspended due to strike. JUI activists sent back a passenger train that was to travel between Chaman and Quetta.  

JUI-F workers staged a sit in in Hub against the killing, suspending vehicular traffic to and from Balochistan. Balochistan University postponed the examinations beginning on Monday. New dates will be announced later.  

The JUI also held protests in different cities of Punjab. Party activists staged a sit-in at Ferozpur Road and raised slogans for the arrest of the killers of Dr Khalid Soomro. They blocked the Metro Bus service. There was a massive traffic jam on the road following dharna at the Muslim Town Chowk.  

A protest rally was taken out in Sargodha on Khushab road. The participants staged a sit in at the road blocking the traffic for few hours.