RAWALPINDI: The PTI demonstrations in Shamasabad – old Airport Road, Pirwadhai Chowk, and Margalla Hills seriously disrupted public life in the garrison city, notably for students and business owners. According to administration, schools in the garrison city would be closed for two days (Nov 8 and 9).
Parents rush to rescue children who have become stranded on the road, and key entry and departure points are congested. Garrison City schools will be closed on November 8 and 9, 2018.
Parents of kids rushed to save their children after learning that school vans were being halted by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) activists near Gulzar-i-Quaid on Monday. A number of entryways were closed to prevent party employees from entering the capital city.
PTI workers set fire to tires while obstructing the Musyari Expressway, which goes to Murree Hills. Rescue 1122 ambulances and fire engines were deployed to the scene to deal with any bad situation. Faizabad, Koral Chowk, the Peshawar Road underpass, Taxila GT Raod, Golra Mor, Chak Beli Khan, and the Islamabad Motorway Toll Plaza were reportedly closed as a result of the protest to keep demonstrators out of the city. Furthermore, the access points from I.J. Principal Road to Double Road and Pindora Chongi remained closed.
Only the Islamabad Expressway was open to travel, according to Pakistani authorities. Both the Express Chowk and Nadra Chowk entry and exit points into the Red Zone were closed.
“I was going to pick up my children from school when demonstrators blocked the route,” a mother stuck in traffic on Murree Road said.
Aziz Khan, a tea vendor, complained that his earnings had dropped by half since the PTI began holding demonstrations and long marches. Some of the feedback was similar. When parents saw that their children were in danger and that it was getting late, several rushed to the scene to save their children. When they watched kids burning tires and singing slogans, some parents were terrified, while others grieved.
Dawn was told by a schoolteacher that she grew concerned after hearing from her son-in-law, who drives a van, that his van had been blocked by PTI protesters. She stated that as soon as she and a few other parents received the message, they went to the area near Gulzar-i-Quaid and clashed with PTI supporters to reclaim their school vans.
The City Traffic Police sought to alleviate traffic congestion during the PTI protest by putting up specific diversion routes, however their efforts were futile. In order to avoid inconvenience, the CTP requested that people travel to Gulzar-i-Quaid and the old Airport Road.
According to a traffic police spokesperson, the rally was causing traffic to be diverted to different routes. Additional officers were also deployed, along with traffic diversion strategies, according to the spokesperson, to preserve traffic flow at protest spots.
CTO Naveed Irshad asked the public to avoid unnecessary travels on the highways. He encouraged the general population to allow an extra 20 to 30 minutes to avoid any potential difficulties.
They reported that the suspension of the main entry gates connecting the twin cities caused severe traffic delays at several locations, adding that certain entry points were momentarily reopened after the demonstrators dispersed.
When contacted, the police’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) claimed that demonstrators had stopped and closed all entry points into Rawalpindi. According to him, police and paramilitary soldiers were stationed there to guide traffic to alternate routes.
The capital police called Sindh police and paramilitary forces a day after the PTI announced it would resume the long march. They also stated that those protesting without license will face harsh legal consequences, and that the prolonged peace and order issue caused by the protracted march may pose difficulties for citizens.
They further stated that arrest warrants had been obtained from the appropriate courts in order to seize local and active leaders, as well as PTI members. They claimed that as a result of this, some people had been identified.
Separately, a PTI supporter was brought to the hospital after being electrocuted while participating in a protest in Shamasabad and climbing on an electric pole. Zeenat Ullah, 23, was identified as the man. He was sent to Benazir Bhutto Hospital after obtaining first assistance for injuries to his left hand and right thigh (BBH).
GT Road Is Blocked
PTI members gathered at Margalla Hills for several hours to protest the shooting of party leader Imran Khan.
Seats were placed in the middle of the road on the Margalla hills, and piles of sand and dirt were placed on either side of the road to prevent traffic. The main thoroughfares in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad were closed.
The gathering was led by Mansoor Hayat Khan, an MNA, and Ammar Sadeeq Khan, an MPA, who screamed anti-government obscenities and demanded the arrest of those guilty for Mr. Khan’s attack.
Ambulances, wedding procession, and school buses caused traffic congestion. Police and highway patrol officers were nowhere to be found for vulnerable motorists caught in traffic.
Farwa Batool, a student at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila who was observed in distress, stated that her family was concerned about her safety because she lived in Chak Shahzad. She said that she was forced to walk through the protest site with her classmates.
Jamil Ahmed, the elderly woman’s companion, explained that he had to carry his mother himself due to a road blockage since he needed to bring her to a private hospital for surgery.
Zainaib Noor, an eighth-grader, stated she lived in B-17 and had to travel about 7 kilometers from school to her home in the Margalla Hills due to the blockade.
MNA Khan told the gathering that Imran Khan was fighting for the country’s true freedom and that the march in Islamabad would continue until the federal government called new elections for the country.
Former federal minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan strongly condemned Thursday’s shooting and stressed that such “cowardly deeds” will not persuade the PTI and its leadership to abandon the battle for independence.
The PTI’s leader, Zulfi Bukhari, led a protest in Fatehjang that caused the Rawalpindi-Fatehjang motorway to be closed for several hours. Angry protestors set fire to tires, obstructing traffic and threatening to continue until the suspects were apprehended and punished. The guests hurled insults at the federal government and the interior minister, Rana Sanaullah.