Protesters reign as law and order goes down the drain

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–Public life disrupted as nationwide protests enter second day

The numerous protests erupted in the aftermath of Islamabad operation continued to disrupt the daily routine across the country as they entered the second successive day (Sunday).

Following the crackdown on Tehreek-e-Labaik by the capital administration on the directives of the Islamabad High Court, a large number of protest demonstrations have erupted in various cities across the country.

Islamabad bore witness worst violence in the recent history of the country, as religious agitators gathered near Kachnar Park had set police vehicles alight early on Sunday morning. Private vehicles were not spared either when the protesters set five motorcycles and one car belonging to the police personnel on fire. The vehicles belonging to the police officials were their personal property.

A police checkpoint at Expressway near Rawat was alighted by the angry mob. The Grand-Trunk Road and Motorway, connecting Islamabad to Lahore, also remain blocked. A small group of protesters of 50 people gathered at the Taramri Chowk on Islamabad’s Lehtarar Road and blocked it.

 

PROTESTS IN PUNJAB 

 

The protesters reportedly pelted stones at the police team all day long, along with allegedly abducting two policemen from Islamabad’s Sohan area. The police officials said negotiations were underway for the return of the two officials.

As the law and order goes the drain, the capital administration and Punjab have announced to close all the educational institutes in the city for two days—Monday and Tuesday—following a notification by the Higher Education Commission.

Karachi, the volatile city and economic hub of the country, bear the brunt of the religious zealot who had been out on roads for the second consecutive day, to show solidarity with the ‘victims’ of Islamabad operation. The protestors blocked Sohrab goth and Hub River roads that connect the city with rest of the country. A large number of protesters also gathered at Karachi’s Numaish Chowrangi.

Shahrah-e-Pakistan also remained blocked on Sunday with oil tankers lined up along the highway since 2 am (Sunday).

 

Markets and shops were shuttered in the megacity, Pakistan’s commercial hub, as alarmed residents stayed inside, while hardline clerics urged more people to take to the streets.

The All-Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) 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.

Life in Hyderabad had been on standstill for two days following the protest call of religious parties.  All business and commercial centres remained closed in the city as protesters resumed their sit-in at Hyder chowk.  Sukkur and Rohari were no exceptions as protesters took to the street in the cities and brought life to a halt.

In Peshawar, capital of KP province, protesters in defiance of government’s crackdown on the protesters in Islamabad held a sit-in at Jameel Chowk and blocked the Ring Road of the city.

Protest demonstrations and rallies were taken out in various cities of the province, including Nowshera, Abbottabad and Swabi districts.

People of Balochistan also chipped in record their protest in solidarity with agitating Islamabad protesters, with people coming out in streets in Quetta and Sibbi. The protesters held a demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club and demanded resignation from Law Minister Zahid Hamid.