islamabad - The capital witnessed strict security on the occasion of Pakistan Day parade held at the Shakarparian Parade Ground here on Friday.

Over 2,000 personnel of the law-enforcement agencies were deployed to maintain security across Islamabad. The Faizabad Interchange and roads leading to the Parade ground near Faizabad were closed for all, except those invited to attend the ceremony who had been issued special passes. Similarly, personnel of law-enforcing agencies were deployed at important installations in the city. Deployment of additional contingents of police at sensitive places and important buildings was made in order to thwart any untoward incident on the occasion. The local police, Rangers, Army and Islamabad Traffic Police worked in close coordination as CID, Security Division and Special Branch of the police assisted them for intelligence gathering. ITP remained on the roads, especially close to the venue to guide the invitees and others to their destinations.

The Islamabad Expressway remained closed from Zero Point to Khanna Pul while the Murree Road and IJP Road also remained closed near Faizabad. Entry of trucks and other heavy traffic into the capital city was banned from midnight to 2pm on Friday. The commuters were advised to use alternate routes. The pedestrians have had to cover distance due to closure of roads, especially near Faizabad interchange. Cellular services remained partially suspended in parts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Friday as a security measure. The main event of the day was the armed forces parade at the parade ground near Faizabad.

Meanwhile, the security measures taken for Pakistan Day celebrations paralysed the life of many residents of the twin cities on Friday.

Although the owners of private vehicles faced fewer difficulties, those travelling through public transport continued to wait for hours for vans and buses. The closure of metro bus service in early morning also increased the commuting problems of citizens.

A large number of people visiting public and private hospitals of the city were unable to reach the medical facilities of the city because of strict security. The weekly bazaar at Kashmir Highway also remained closed and residents reaching for discounted rate shopping in early hours of the day were compelled to wait till the end of celebrations.

Though the national day was celebrated with zeal and zest, major roads and commercial venues were observing pin drop silence till the routes were open after 01:00pm.

Due to non-availability of local transport, people were seen walking for kilometres to reach their destinations and complete their routine and tasks.

Meanwhile, outside the city long queues of heavy transport were observed on G.T road from Margallah bypass to Sangjani as the traffic was not allowed to move till ending of the celebrations.

Mohammad Asghar an official at Kashmir Highway metro stop informed The Nation that service was closed in early morning and likely will be functional after the celebrations will end.

He said that a large number of commuters are arriving here as it is one of the busiest stop but are turning back due to lack of information regarding the time when services resume.

Mohammad Fayyaz, a resident of Rawalpindi talking to The Nation said that strict security arrangements have disturbed the daily life of a common man.

“I had to visit my ailing uncle at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) who has gone through a surgery. I reached the hospital by taking lifts from motorcyclists,” he said.

He added that due to closure of public transport, the cab drivers have increased their fares making them unaffordable for low income residents.

Amjad Iqbal, a van driver, who commutes on express highway said that government’s ban on local transport has caused him to lose half of his day’s earning.

“Fuel prices are increasing day by day and I have to feed five children on a meagre income,” he said.

Iqbal said that he understands the historical significance of Pakistan day and is happy to live in an independent country, but expressed disappointment over the fact that government didn’t announce any compensation for poor on this day.

“The ruling style of our governments disappoints us on every national day,” he said.

Ameena Bibi, waiting for the public transport at Karachi company stop said that she had to visit the weekly bazaar at Kashmir Highway but was informed that it’s close due to security reasons.

She lamented that she had been waiting in scorching heat for nearly an hour to reach Aabpara but the transporters had anchored their vehicles on government orders.

Ameena said that the celebrations have marginalised the poor people who are forced to stand on the roads.

“We love Pakistan and its national days but only the VVIPs are invited to enjoy these celebrations while the poor have to wait for hours for local transport,” she said.