Protest demonstrations and sit-ins held in major cities on Sunday, to express solidarity with the Faizabad protesters, continued to affect the daily life of citizens across the country for the second consecutive day.
In the aftermath of the crackdown against the protesters in Islamabad on Saturday, a large number of protest demonstrations have been held in various cities across the country.
The capital was among the most affected cities as protesters gathered near Kachnar Park and set police vehicles alight early on Sunday morning. Five motorcycles and one car belonging to the police personnel were set alight by the protesters, police said, adding that the vehicles were personal property.
Moreover, enraged protesters set fire to a police checkpoint at Expressway near Rawat. The Grand-Trunk Road and Motorway, connecting Islamabad to Lahore, also remain blocked.
According to media reports and police, the protesters also pelted stones on police personnel deployed in the area. More than 50 protesters gathered at the Taramri Chowk on Islamabad’s Lehtarar Road and blocked it.
Police alleged that the protesters have abducted two policemen from Islamabad’s Sohan area. Negotiations were underway for the return of the two officials, the officials said.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad administration has issued directives that all educational institutions would remain closed on Monday and Tuesday, DawnNews reported.
The Punjab government has also said that all public and private schools, colleges and universities in the province would remain closed on Nov 27 and 28 following a Higher Education Department notification.
Karachi, the economic nerve of the country, remains badly affected due to blockages by the protestors at Sohrab goth and Hub River roads which connect the city with rest of the country. A large number of protesters have also gathered at Karachi’s Numaish Chowrangi.
Shahrah-e-Pakistan also remained blocked on Sunday with oil tankers lined up along the highway since 2am.
The All-Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) has announced that all private schools would remain closed in Karachi on Monday and Tuesday — Nov 27 and 28 — in light of the “prevailing situation”. Schools will reopen likely on Wednesday, Nov 29, said APPSF President Kashif Mirza.
Various cities and towns across Sindh ─ including Badin, Chhachro, Sanghar and Tando Allahyar ─ remained closed on Sunday on the call of religious parties condemning the Islamabad operation. Protest demonstrations were also held in Umerkot and Mirpurkhas districts.
Hyderabad city, the second largest in the province after Karachi, remained shut for the second consecutive day on Sunday. All business and commercial centres remained closed in the city as protesters resumed their sit-in at Hyder chowk. Business and daily life activities in Sukkur and Rohari were also paralysed as protesters took to the street.
In Peshawar, protesters held a sit-in at Jameel Chowk and blocked the Ring Road. Supporters of religious parties condemned Saturday’s operation in Islamabad.
Protest demonstrations and rallies were taken out in various cities of the province, including Nowshera, Abbottabad and Swabi districts.
Though protest demonstrations were held in Quetta and Sibbi against the Islamabad crackdown, no untoward incident was reported from any part of Balochistan. Protesters, holding a demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club, expressed solidarity with the Islamabad protesters and demanded resignation from the federal law minister.