Roads blockade paralyses routine life in twin cities

ISLAMABAD/Rawalpindi – Routine life in Islamabad and Rawalpindi got paralysed on Wednesday due to placement of containers by the government to block roads ahead of PTI long march.

The road blockade brought many areas of twin cities to almost a standstill as all educational institutes and business centers remained closed. The traffic on the roads remained thin, while, Metro Bus service between Rawalpindi was already suspended for two days.

Citizens faced trouble because of placement of containers on main arteries between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Government, corporate offices, courts, and markets opened but the attendance was thin. Passengers landing at the Islamabad airport also suffered as their relatives could not reach to pick them up from the airport. Likewise, citizens failed in taking patients to hospitals. Use of tear gas shells by police against protestors also caused problems for people residing near Murree Road and Blue Area.

“This is ridiculous,” said Shakir Khan, an expatriate, while talking to The Nation at the airport. He said he arrived from Sharjah at 7am but his family was stuck at Hassanabdal where heavy containers had been placed by government.

He said the government and the opposition should resolve the differences through dialogue.

Shahzaib Ali, a government officer, said that he could not go to office because of road closure in Islamabad. He said all the roads leading to the Red Zone and Parliament House have been sealed.

“We are facing a shortage of daily use items as we cannot go outside due to scuffle between police and protestors,” said Wasif Chaudhry, a resident of Liaquat Bagh. He said the government should immediately remove the containers from roads in a bid to return to normalcy.

A senior official of local administration told The Nation that the placement of containers at entry points of the city was done as a preventive measure to avoid any untoward situation in the city. He said that the police pickets were already established and they had been asked to stay vigilant to avoid any untoward situation.

“We listened to the reports of clashes between PTI workers and police in Lahore but the situation was normal till the evening. We remained present in the bazaar and opened shops but the number of customers was less,” said Sharjeel Mir, Rawalpindi Traders Association President.

He said that most people were facing price hike and they had no time to be part of such activities in the city.

He said that the business community carried out routine business in the city. “We suffered a lot during the last two years due to Covid-19 and it was not possible for us to allow any strikes,” he said.

“Traders are against protests and rallies in the city as it affects their business. We had already asked the government to allocate space for the protesters so that they do not disturb routine business in the markets,” he said.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More