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Pakistan

Web Desk
November 2, 2018
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Asia Bibi acquittal: Protests continue as mobile phone services suspended

Pakistan

Web Desk
Fri, Nov, 18

KARACHI:  Religious hardliners across the  country have blocked roads in major cities for a third day on Friday in protest against the acquittal of a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy allegations.

Ultra-islamist party Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) said talks with the government have failed, and called upon its followers to get ready for a show down.

"Talks have completely failed, Federal and provincial representatives and an Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) General Faiz took part in talks," Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of TLP said in a tweet early on Friday morning.

"Government has warned,´we will finish you off´," Rizvi said in his tweet.

Knots of protesters from TLP have blocked roughly 10 roads in the southern city of Karachi and others in eastern Lahore, Geo TV and other channels said.

As protests continue, various roads of major cities have been barricaded and commuters are advised to refrain from using the following routes:

KARACHI 

As many as 25 places in Karachi have been blocked including: 

Teen Talwar, Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Star Gate at Shahra-e-Faisal, Numaish, Sohrab Goth, Korangi 5, Ranchor Line, Power House Chowrangi, Nagan Chowrangi, Qayyumabad, Murtaza and Bilal Chowrangis, New Karachi, Surjani Town, Landhi 89 and Teen Hatti have been blocked.

The road to Jinnah International Airport from Star Gate has been blocked and commuters are advised to use the University Road. 

Live traffic updates on Google Map in Karachi

LAHORE

In  Lahore, roads  at Charring Cross at Mall Road, Data Darbar, Shahdara Chowk, Askari X, Kalma Chowk and Bhatta Chowk have been blocked. 

Roads leading to Muridke, Nathe Khalsa, Paka Meel and Mohlanwal have also been barred from being used. 

Live traffic updates on Google Map in Lahore

ISLAMABAD 

The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Faizabad Interchange is blocked. Moreover, roads  at Dhoke Kala Khan and Tramri and Karal Chowks  are blocked. 

A motorways spokesperson said that routes to Lahore and Kamoke to Rawalpindi are open for traffic. However, the motorway from Kamoke to Lahore is blocked.

Further, roads leading to Taxila, Pir Sohawa, Sarai Alamgir and Gujrat are blocked. 

Live traffic updates on Google Map in Islamabad

PESHAWAR

Ring Road and GT Road have been blocked. Roads leading to the motorway have also been blocked.

On Wednesday, following the protests, Section 144 was imposed across Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan barring the gathering of more than four persons in public places as well as pillion riding. Section 144 has been imposed till November 10.

Mobile services  suspended  in Islamabad, Lahore 

Mobile phone services have been suspended in Islamabad and other major cities of Punjab today (Friday).

As per details, the mobile and internet services have been suspended in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Gujranwala owing to security concerns after the protests being held across the country against the acquittal of Asia Bibi continue. 

Educational institutions  face closure 

Owing to the prevailing precarious security situation, all government and private educational institutes in the federal capital and across Punjab would remain closed today to avoid any untoward situation.

Sindh Government has also decided that all Schools in Karachi will remain closed. 

Furthermore, private and public educational institutions are also closed across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Dragging army into Asia Bibi case is unfortunate: DG ISPR

Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the judgment of the Supreme Court in Asia Bibi case is a legal matter and dragging Pakistan Army into it is regrettable, Radio Pakistan reported.

Talking to the PTV this morning, he said that the government is currently engaged with the protesters and that they want amicable and peaceful resolution of the matter.

"Asia Bibi case is in courts for the last 10 years and the religious parties have staged sit-ins against the Supreme Court verdict, it is a legal matter and it will be better if the law is allowed to run its course on the matter,” the military official added.

“Islam teaches us peace, forgiveness and love,” the DG ISPR said.

*With inputs from Reuters

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