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

ISLAMABAD (PEN): 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.

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.

Islamabad Traffic Police releases traffic plan ahead of protest

The Islamabad administration has beefed up security measures to deal with the banned outfit’s intended long march to the city. The city’s traffic police have called on citizens to use the 9th Avenue and for those who want to traveI to Rawalpindi from Faizabad, to use the IJP Road.

“Faizul Islam Stop, Murree Road have been closed for traffic,” said an ICT spokesperson. “Those who intend to travel from Islamabad to the Murree Road should instead take the Islamabad Highway.”

The Jinnah Avenue road from Express Chowk to D-Chowk has been sealed, said the spokesperson, adding that citizens should use NADRA Chowk and Ayub Chowk to enter and exit the city’s Red Zone area.