Roads closure causes agony to Pindiites

Khalid Iqbal & Shakeel Anjum
Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rally, held on Murree Road, the main artery connecting Rawalpindi city as well Islamabad, may be legally and constitutionally right, but it grossly violated the basic right to free movement of the public.

Deployment of police and other law-enforcing agencies in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, security measures taken by the administration created severe problems for people. Closure of almost all roads leading to Rawalpindi and the rally entry points turned life into a hell for the people of Rawalpindi. Men and women, young and old, children, all were taken hostage in their own homes because of the rally. The event was organised despite reports of serious threats and appeals from the ministers to refrain from holding such an activity in the face of security threats.

The Rawalpindi administration had deployed 10,000-strong police force and, on the east side in the federal capital, almost a similar number of Islamabad Police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary strength had been deployed to prevent any untoward situation.

The PPT’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi march’ [real independence march] badly failed to attract the residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Party’s local leadership once again failed to bring the public to procession on Saturday. Even former interior minister and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed failed to bring the public in Imran Khan’s ‘jalsa’.

The PTI chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan’s helicopter landed at Arid University Rawalpindi at about 4:40pm, but security officials did not allow him to appear on the stage till 6:22 pm. Imran Khan appeared at the procession site after security clearance.

The Rawalpindi local management did not allow the PTI to establish the main stage for Imran Khan here at Faizabad. On refusal of the Rawalpindi deputy commissioner, the PTI leadership shifted the venue and established the main stage of Imran Khan here at Sixth Road Flyover. The local management also arranged a bulletproof lift for Imran Khan to reach the main stage. Over 100 sniffer dogs were checking suspected persons in procession.

All kinds of business activities, educational activities, social activities marriage ceremonies, transport activities and even health activities became standstill in garrison city due to Imran Khan’s march. Even serious patients failed to reach hospitals as ambulances remained stuck in rush.

The metro bus service was suspended in between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. All petrol pumps along Murree Road were also closed down due to long march. The common citizens faced hell like situation due to Imran’s long march.

The procession started with the speeches of the PTI leaders including Fawad Chaudhry and AML leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rashid said people of Rawalpindi, his hometown, feel proud to host the PTI chairman.

Addressing the participants in the long march, Sh Rashid lashed out at the incumbent government over economic situation. About the ouster of Imran’s government, former federal minister said the PTI-led government was toppled by purchasing the conscience of the lawmakers. Vowing to overthrow the government through the constitutional way, Sh Rashid berated Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, saying that Dar is lying over LC.

Talking to ‘The News’ locals of garrison city in the state of tension said that they were facing difficult situation due to locking down of Rawalpindi. How we could survive without work, higher authorities should think about it, locals appealed.