ISLAMABAD - Unlike in the past, Monday, the first working day of the week, was painting a different picture of the federal capital because of the expected arrival of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri at Islamabad airport and the ultimate sufferers were the masses.
The roads of the capital presented a deserted picture as the city had been sealed from all entry and exit points and people working in government and private offices observed an unannounced holiday, as most of them could not reach their work place due to the reason.
Meanwhile, the top officials at the Ministry of Interior and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan monitored the whole exercise from the arrival of Dr Qadri’s plane in the territory of Pakistan and its diversion to Lahore airport.
Those officers and officials who used to live in the main sectors of the capital and in government residences went to their offices but most of them remained stuck to TV screen watching live coverage of Dr Qadri’s arrival and then hearing news of his flight diversion to Lahore airport. All the embassies in Islamabad had already announced a holiday on Monday.
The visitors who had gone to Murree and its adjoining hilly areas to pass their weekend remained stuck in the capital and did not go back to their hometowns or work places as all the entry and exit point of the capital had been sealed at about 12o clock Sunday night. “I am stuck in the capital as I was in the Murree along with my family and could not go back to my workplace due to roads blockade,” a senior bureaucrat of Punjab government said on the condition of anonymity.
Similarly, the people who usually come back to the capital Sunday night after passing the weekend at their hometowns could not reach their destination and had to either go back or stay in hotels located on GT Road.
The residents living along both sides of Expressway had to suffer a lot and they remained limited to their homes throughout the whole day due to the blockade of the main artery of the city till Monday after noon when the roads were cleared at about 3:30 pm.
The public transport in the capital remained absent throughout the day.
The owners of the trucks and containers that were used to block the roads were seen worried as they were unclear how long this issue would prolong. “In the past, the police and district administration had been confiscating our trucks and containers to block roads and we never got a penny from the government,” a visibly worried driver of a truck said.