Rawalpindi-Scores of applicants on Wednesday have set files for learners and new driving licenses on fire during a protest against the Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Muhammad Bin Ashraf saying that he has made the licensing process highly difficult for ordinary people.

The protest demonstration was staged outside the Traffic Headquarters at Race Course on Peshawar Road and the protestors also chanted slogans against the Chief Traffic Officer. According to details, a large numbers of applicants gathered outside the Traffic Headquarters and demonstrated against the Chief Traffic Officer for not issuing new licenses/leaner permits to the applicants. The applicants, who came from all over the district, also torched learning permits and applications for new licenses during the protest demonstration.

“The officials of Licensing Branch are humiliating the applicants by forcing them to visit the office time and again but despite that licences are not being issued,” said an applicant while taking to media. He said the Chief Traffic Officer and other officers have adopted a very strict policy in regard with issuance of driving licenses, he said. Another protestor alleged that the Chief Traffic Officer and his staff have been favouring specific people and are only issuing them licenses on a daily basis. He said ordinary applicants are failed during signal or driving test.  “I own a private car and want to join Careem Service as captain for which I need a driving license but the Driving License Branch is making a fool out of me and are not issuing the license,” said a protestor. He said the driving licence process should be made easier for citizens.

Chief Traffic Officer Muhammad Bin Ashraf and Traffic Police spokesman Wajid Satti did not respond when this correspondent tried to contact them to get their point of view.  Meanwhile, CTP has issued a traffic plan for easing traffic flow on Pakistan Defence Day. In a press release, issued here, CTO said a total of 6 DSPs, 14 Inspectors and 159 traffic wardens have been deputed to control the traffic rush during a ceremony to be held at General Headquarters in connection with Pakistan Defence Day. He said Mall Road, Tameezuddin Road, Tufail Road, Kiyani Road and Bank Road would remain closed for traffic movement towards GHQ. He said diversions would be placed at Shalimar Chowk, Haider Road Turn, Murree Road, Chota Bakery Road Chowk, GHQ Chowk, Firdosi Road, Convent School Turn and at Iftikhar Janjua Road.