rawalpindi - In an attempt to pressurize the government to fulfil their demands, the protestors of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) rally continued to block Faizabad Interchange for the second consecutive day on Thursday bringing traffic to a standstill. The protestors’ demands include sacking the federal law minister and punishing others allegedly involved in making changes to Khatam-e-Nabuwat declaration for electoral candidates.

The protestors have blocked all roads leading to Faizabad Interchange by placing barricades and are forcing the administration to suspend Metro Bus Service between twin cities and private transport service at Faizabad Bus Terminal. As a result, the traffic commuters are facing problems getting from one place to another. A team of Rawalpindi police headed by the top officials reportedly arrived at Faizabad Bus Terminal to control the situation but the protestors showed resistance forcing the police to move back. Protestors wielding bamboo sticks also scuffled with vehicle owners and motorcyclists to send them back.

A heavy contingent of police along with Rangers and other law enforcement agencies have been deployed to maintain law and order situation but the law enforcers have played the role of silent spectator and not taken any action against the protestors.  The roads blocked by TLYR protestors included IJP Road, Islamabad Expressway, Murree Road and service roads. Some commuters used alternative routes to reach their destinations while others remained stuck in traffic. On the other hand, the leaders of the religious party said they would march towards the Parliament house if the government fails to sack federal law minister Zahid Hamid immediately.  Peer Afzal Qadri, a religious leader, said the deadlock would continue with government till the minister’s resignation.  Adding that there would be no compromise on Khatm-e-Nabuwat, he said that the protestors will not leave until the fulfilment of their demands.  He appealed to the people of Pakistan to join the rally.

Meanwhile, huge traffic jams in different parts of city are posing problems to commuters and pedestrians.

“I came from Gujrat but the bus driver asked me to step down at T Chowk Rawat because of road blockage,” said Haroon, an Islamabad property dealer. He said he was in search of a taxi to reach Blue Area but nobody was willing to drive to the capital due to fear of protestors. Zamida Bibi, a house wife trying to reach Piwadhai on foot with her two children through Islamabad Expressway, said there is no writ of the government if a few hundred people can occupy the main artery of twin cities. “I have been walking since 40 minutes and have been unable find a way to reach my house,” she said. Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Yousaf Ali Shahid, when contacted, said he deputed extra force of traffic wardens to facilitate the road users and to control traffic. He said commuters could use Peshawar Road, Murree Road and Double Road to reach Islamabad.

According to a police officer, there are 3200 leaders and protestors staging sit in at Faizabad Interchange.