Islamabad - Besides multiplying people’s hardships, the two-week long sit-in of Thereek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah has also posed an environmental threat to federal capital.

The three kilometers area seized by the protestors has been turned into a garbage dump, where followers of the religious cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who has now been awarded the title of ‘Amir-ul-Mujahideen’, are free to use the space as dust-bin.

The polythene bags, disposable lunch boxes, used cloths, ashes of burned material, waste of edibles, including fruits and other grocery items, are scattered in the area reflecting the landscape as a garbage factory.

Mohammad Bilal, student of a seminary in Lahore, while talking to The Nation, vowed that he is ready to face any kind of situation forced on him by the government or order passed by his party leader.

“I will prefer martyrdom rather than being arrested by the government,” he pledged allegiance to his leader, who is taking oath from the crowd to remain steadfast if the government use force to disperse them for vacating the area.

Bilal along with his three other fellows have set a tent for last thirteen days, where they take rest and cook some food by themselves. His tent is filled with the luggage, including makeshift couch, stove and clothes. “Life in this condition is not easy, but this sacrifice is nothing before the ‘greater cause,” he said.

Bilal has been also assigned the security duty on the picket set up by the TLYR leadership and his day passes while performing multiple tasks in the sit-in, including monitoring of the suspicious persons which include security personnel and others. “The garbage is useful for us as it will help if security forces attacked the protestors,” he said.  According to him, his leaders told them that burning of garbage will help vanish the effects of tear gas.

A number of vehicles enter the rally with food and the participants are queued with discipline to take their share.

However, the TLYR participants after taking their lunch throw the disposable plates and boxes on the roads and nearby areas.

“Where we should place the waste? This all mess is created by the government and it is responsible for each and every disorder here,” Ahmed Ashraf, a participant from Jehlum said.

In his view, the protestors have reached to ‘clean’ the capital from the larger ‘dirt’ and this pollution has very minor value.

Ashraf said the rally management has made all arrangements for better health conditions of the protestors but number of participants fell ill because of flue and fever.

“There are hygienic problems here and the mobile health vehicle is providing treatment to us. The government has banned the entry of protestors in nearby hotels and they are also facing problems in using the toilets,” Ashraf added.

Arslan Zuberi, a resident of the sector I-8, while talking to The Nation said that life of locals is already disturbed in multiple ways and the waste spread by the TLYR members is also contaminating the environment.

He added life of the residents has become miserable as the use loudspeakers by the protestors and movement of law enforcement agencies have created chaos in the area. “Both parties are ready for the battle and challenging each other day and night but a common man is paying the price,” said Zuberi.

Saima Mohsin, a student viewed that government has completely failed in winning the trust of citizens and left them to tackle their challenges by themselves.  “Why we pay taxes? There is no law and order in this area, filth and pollution nearby our houses and the government is apologetic to protestors,” she said.

The common man’s cry always falls on deaf ears, she added.