Islamabad paralysed but motorways open for traffic

By: News Desk      Published: 11:41 AM, 13 Apr, 2021
Religious party protest.
A scene of a traffic jam in Rawalpindi.–AFP

The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has lost complete ground connection with the rest of the country as all highways have been closed in an ongoing protest by followers of a religious party that has blocked the roads, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

All entrances and exits of Islamabad are still closed for all kinds of traffic including important arteries including Faizabad Expressway, Rawat T Cross, Motorway Chowk and 26 No Chuarangi on Tuesday.

The ICT Police have introduced alternative routes for entry and exit for vehicles. 

The SSP Traffic (Islamabad) in an alert posted on Twitter informed the passengers about the latest situation of the traffic blocked amid the ongoing protest and road blockade.

Motorway Police and National Highway (MP&NH) spokespersons said that the traffic on motorways have been resumed from all places including M-1, M-2, M-3, M-4, M-5, M-9. 

A spokesperson said Murree Expressway and Mansehra-Thakot section are also open for traffic.

Similarly, protests continued in Lahore where multiple sites were blocked by the protesters including Bhatta Chowk and passengers from Bedian Road, RA Bazaar Cantonment, Defence Housing Authority and Airport Road are facing sheer difficulties in mobility. 

The authorities claimed that they had so far opened for traffic 71 percent of the 20 shut areas of the provincial capital.

In the latest development, the sit-in by a religious party at the Eastern Bypass of Renala Khurd of National Highway has ended and traffic has resumed. 

A heavy contingent of police dispersed the workers and arrested 28 protesters and shifted them to an unknown location. 

The Punjab Police have confiscated about 50 motorcycles, three rickshaws, seized the sound system and shifted it to the police station. Police have already raided homes to arrest workers of the religious party.

In Karachi, KPT Flyover, Mary Waid Tower, Shahrah-e-Faisal, Karsaz Road, Hassan Square and Nazimabad have been opened for traffic. The situation in Baldia, New Karachi and Orangi is still tense and roads are still closed in these areas.

The scenes in Gujranwala are not different and even worse. At least 21 people were injured in a clash between police and the religious party activists. Similar scenes were reported from Wazirabad and Multan. 

The TV channel reported that 10 were injured near Chan Da Qila and provided medical aid on the spot while 11 people were injured near Kamoke and shifted to hospital for medical aid.

The Punjab Police have restored the traffic at the GT Road near Kamoke where police and religious party followers clashed for four hours and the latter fired tear-gas shells indiscriminately.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, angry party men of the religious group protested at Ghazi Ghat Bridge. Dera Ghazi Khan Police and workers clashed while Police batons charged on protesters and protesters hurled stones at a police party. 12 people, including policemen, were injured in the Dera Ghazi Khan clash and protesters even managed to grab a sub-inspector and tortured him. 

A heavy contingent of police arrived to rescue the hostage sub-inspector. Rescue 1122 spokesman said other injured were given medical aid on the spot. 

In Bahawalpur, protesting religious group workers continued their sit-in on the Sutlej Bridge at and roads have been closed since yesterday evening when the protests erupted.

Sutlej Bridge has been completely closed and long queues of vehicles from Ahmadpur Sharqia to Sutlej Bridge.

Reporter Saghir Chaudhary and correspondents