Protest continues: capital yet to find its way to normalcy


-All educational institutes to remain closed today

ISLAMABAD: The protests by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) workers against the acquittal of wrongly accused Christian blasphemy convict Aasiya Bibi continued for the second consecutive day due to which commuters of the twin cities remain frustrated.

The protesters blocked main highways including the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Faizabad Interchange, much to the annoyance of officials and students who passed through hardships to reach their destinations.

The irate protesters resorted to pelting stones on policemen who tried to clear blocked routes in a few areas due to which police personnel including the Islamabad deputy commissioner (DC) received minor injuries.

The Islamabad DC informed the public that Taramari Chowk had been cleared at the cost of policemen being hit by stones.

“I have suffered a minor injury but overall situation is under control,” he added.

He said that GT Road was also cleared after two hours of active negotiation and use of passive force.

Meanwhile, owing to the prevailing precarious security situation, all government and private educational institutes in the federal capital would remain closed on Friday to avoid any untoward situation.

The government and Private School Association (PSA) have taken this decision in light of parents and students passing through trouble due to road blocks on Thursday.

Although the government had not closed down educational institutes on Thursday, a good number the students were not able to reach their institutions because most of the capital’s government schools did not send buses to pick students from their homes.

A number of students who did not go to schools could be seen walking on roads in the morning and in some places, especially in Taramari, students were reportedly forced to participate in the protests which might also be one the reasons that the government and private schools association has decided to close educational institutes.

The Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training decided to temporarily shut down of educational institutions of Islamabad capital territory (ICT) on Friday.

Education Ministry Section Officer Kausar Ali Khan said, “I am directed to refer to subject cited above and to inform that in view of emerging law and order situation in the ICT, the Educational Institutions of ICT will remain closed on Friday to ensure the safety and security of the students.”

Education Ministry official spokesman Muhammad Rafique Tahir said that all educational institutions under the administrative control of the federal government at Islamabad capital territory will remain closed.

PSA Acting President Abdul Waheed Khan said that all private schools in the federal capital will remain closed due to the prevailing law and order situation. He added that the decision has been taken for the safety and security of the parents and the students.

Meanwhile, all of the main public sector hospitals were put on high alert with the administration cancelling leaves of all paramedical staff. The district administration ahs asked the people to restrict movement due to security reasons caused by the closure of Faizabad interchange, Aabpara Chowk, Bara Kahu and Kashmir Highway by religious zealots.

Additional reporting by Shah Nawaz Mohal