Arrangements are being made by both the government and the marchers to prepare for the upcoming Azadi March. According to the reports, the twin cities Islamabad and Rawalpindi will be sealed at several main junctions with the use of shipment containers. Around 100 containers will be needed in around 10 locations in and around the Red Zone. The police have decided to block each of the Expressway’s connecting roads from both sides from Faizabad to the Koral flyover. All the connecting roads of Rawalpindi to I.J. Principal Road will also likely be sealed. This entire exercise of sealing the cities will disrupt life for the residents and cause all the economic activity in the cities to come to a halt.

Protests of political parties and the management of the government now need to evolve in order to continue the smooth functioning of daily routine of the residents. All political protests end up choking the capital city - a situation that the country can neither afford nor propagate. There is no timeline for the March either which means that the government will be spending out of its own pocket to put up these containers. According to the officers, each container costs more than Rs5,000 a day to rent. Along with the financial losses, the losses of the domestic market are also counterproductive to the narrative of both, the government and the protestors.

At the same time, there is always a risk of a law and order situation. Protestors being prompted to take up arms or indulge in violence against the state will not be a healthy narrative for any side. At this point, the police have more than 1,000 gas masks, 200 teargas launchers and 13,000 shells available in the logistics division armoury along with enough batons, plastic helmets, riot jackets, riot shields, shin guards and arms, if needed. Rangers and Punjab Constabulary (PC) personnel will assist the police if the law and order situation deteriorates during the Azadi March. The entire exercise sets the wrong precedent for the onlookers. Bringing the cities to a halt should not be any party’s go-to move or the government’s intention at the time of chaos. The government and the protestors should sit at the negotiation table as soon as possible to minimise the damage to the economy and find a political solution that eases out tensions on both sides.