Students might face difficulties reaching exam venues due to protests


ISLAMABAD: Students taking O/A level examinations in Islamabad might face difficulties in reaching exam venues due to the ongoing protest by the Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah and the Sunni Tehreek which has entered its tenth day today, according to reports.

A statement issued by the British Council says that the council is considering alternative exam venues for O/A level examinations that are being held in the city, due to the current situation in the city.

“The British Council is committed to providing the best conditions for candidates to sit their examinations. We have therefore considered alternative exam venues for the next few days. However, these venues are all affected by similar transport challenges. We can confirm that the current exam venue can still be reached by candidates from both cities,” the statement says. The council has further advised the candidates to allow extra time for their journey to the exam venue.

“We have informed the exam board about the situation,” it further says adding that the British Council has ensured extra security at the venue due to the ongoing situation in the city.

Roughly 2,000 protesters are demanding the resignation of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid over an amendment to the Prophet-hood Declaration Clause in the Electoral Reforms Bill, 2017.

According to the Islamabad Police chief, the protesters deliberately tried to escalate tension so that a clash with police could become inevitable. The protesters, on the other hand, said they would defend themselves if the police conducted an operation against them.

Thousands of people use the interchange to commute every day to work in the capital. Last week, an eight-month-old child died on his way to the hospital after being stuck in traffic because of the TLY’s blockade.

The protesters have erected tents on the greenbelt and deployed their own ‘security’ personnel who frisk pedestrians and motorbike riders.

They have also been controlling traffic for hundreds of meters around their protest camp, parking buses at several locations on Islamabad Highway and removing nearby police checkpoints.

As a result, all major roads including Seventh Avenue on Kashmir Highway, Islamabad Expressway, Murree Road and IJP Principal Road have been completely closed for traffic. Due to diversions, the alternative roads are also clogged including Kashmir Highway, Club Road, Taramri Chowk and other arteries.

Life for the residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi has been at a standstill for the past one week due to the sit-in. Thoroughly exasperated by the situation, the citizens have urged the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter.

The commuters complained that due to the partial suspension of Metro Bus Service, they had no option but to use either slow-moving minibuses or fast taxis to reach their respective destinations, adding that the cabbies overcharged them.