Wednesday December 01, 2021

Opposition parties stage countrywide demonstrations against inflation

Ahead of the protests, government blocked roads in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and other cities

By Web Desk
October 22, 2021

Screengrab via Geo News
Screengrab via Geo News 

Members of different Opposition parties took to the streets on Friday to protest the rising inflation in the country, Geo News reported.

Demonstrations started across the country, including major cities like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Rawalpindi after the call to protest was given by the Opposition.

Ahead of the protests, the government blocked roads in Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi and took additional measures to brace for separate protests by a banned outfit and Opposition parties. 

According to the report, protesters chanted anti-government slogans and demanded an end to the rising inflation. Traffic at the Quetta-Chaman highway remained suspended for several hours due to the rally.

In Karachi, the demonstration started near the Empress Market area, due to which the surrounding roads had to be sealed.

In Lahore, PML-N members staged a protest against inflation at the Jain Mandir Chowk while carrying utility bills and pieces of rotis (bread) in their hands. Akin to that, party members in Muzaffargarh started a protest rally from Central Jamia Masjid to Qanwan Chowk. Members of the Jamaat-e-Islami also staged a protest in front of the Muzaffargarh Press Club during which they chanted slogans against inflation.

PML-N's Qari Saifullah Saifi led the protest in Murree. When protesters reached the city's Mall Road, many tourists also joined in.

In Mardan, protesters started gathering at the city's Kachehri Chowk, while in Gilgit, members of PML-N, as well as JUI, participated in the protest rally at Ittihad Chowk. 

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 9th Avenue and for those who want to travel to Rawalpindi from Faizabad, to use the IJP Road.

"Faizul Islam Stop at the Murree Road has 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.