Pindi, Islamabad, Lahore
partially shut down as
govt braces for protests

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LAHORE: Authorities have suspended the Metro Bus service in Rawalpindi and blocked roads in Islamabad and Lahore as the government braces for protests organised separately by a banned outfit and Opposition parties in the above-mentioned cities. 

A day earlier, the Ministry of Interior had written to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend internet services in various areas of Lahore due to a banned outfit’s protest. 

The provincial government subsequently suspended internet services around Multan Road, Grand Battery Stop, Iqbal Town, Nawankot, Samanabad and Sabzazar areas of Lahore. 

Containers have also been placed at various points in Lahore, such as the Samanabad turn at Multan Road and at the Grid Station Stop. Containers have also been placed at the Dubai Chowk in Iqbal Town’s Boulevard area to thwart protesters’ attempts at assembling. 

Road closed

Meanwhile, Islamabad Traffic Police have also issued a traffic plan (read below) as the city braces to deal with protests today. 

Metro Bus service suspended in Rawalpindi Stringent security measures have been taken in Rawalpindi, where authorities have suspended the Metro Bus service and blocked its surrounding roads. 

Authorities have also blocked several roads in the city’s inner areas. Containers have been placed on the Sixth Road leading to the Faizabad area while the Faizabad Ojri Camp Road has also been sealed off.  

The city’s administration has said that the Metro Bus will only operate from the IJP Road Stop to the Pakistan Secretariat while it will remain suspended from Saddar to Faizabad. 

Police cracked down on workers after the banned Tehreek-e-Libek Pakistan (TLP) announced a long protest march towards Islamabad after Friday prayers.

In addition, several major highways in the twin cities (federal capital Islamabad and Rawalpindi) have been blocked by police and the administration to prevent protesters from reaching Islamabad.

It may be recalled that the banned party had organized a procession on the occasion of Eid Milad-un-Nabi on Tuesday in the form of a sit-in protest for the release of its leader Hafiz Saad Rizvi, who was arrested on April 12.

After holding a sit-in in front of Rehmat-ul-Alamin Mosque in Lahore for three days, the banned outfit had announced a long march towards Islamabad.

A statement issued in this regard also warned that if the protesters were prevented from going to Islamabad, a plan was in place.

Road closed

As a result of the protest, security has been heightened in the Twin Cities and a heavy contingent of police has been deployed at various places, including metro stations.

Meanwhile, Islamabad and Rawalpindi police have arrested more than 100 banned TLP workers in the last 24 hours.

Holidays for federal police officers and soldiers have been canceled in the wake of the protests, and those on leave have been instructed to return to duty.

A heavy contingent of police has been deployed at Faizabad in Islamabad while water cannons and armored vehicles have also been shifted to Faizabad.

In addition, police forces equipped with tear gas shelling equipment are also present in Faizabad and it has been directed that the protesters should not be allowed to reach Faizabad under any circumstances.

Roadblocks and suspension of Metrobus service in Rawalpindi caused severe inconvenience to the citizens going to the offices while the administration also directed the citizens to avoid unnecessary travel to Islamabad. In a statement, police said no protests would be allowed in the city.