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November 16, 2020

Tight security brings Rawalpindi to a standstill

Islamabad

November 16, 2020

Rawalpindi : Strict security arrangements were made in Rawalpindi city on Sunday to prevent Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) from holding a rally against the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France. As administration made full security arrangements and deputed policemen and other volunteers on all major roads, intersections, and streets and had laid large barricades including containers, big vehicles, in the backdrop of the prevailing situation of coronavirus in the twin cities.

The routine of Rawalpindi came to a standstill. The shops and markets on Murree Road from Faizabad to Saddar, Raja Bazar, Saddar, Peshawar Road besides internal link roads remained closed throughout the day. As part of security steps, the network signals remained closed from wee hours of the morning till late night i.e. 10 pm.

Even the services of Metro Bus Services also remained suspended. The public transporters also remained off the roads as all roads and streets leading to Liaquat Bagh remained blocked. As a result of strict security measures taken by the Rawalpindi Administration, the people of Rawalpindi city, cantonments, and even Islamabad faced great hardships and difficulties.

With the closure of network signals, the people not only failed to communicate with the relatives, friends but also found great difficulty to enquire about the health of their patients admitted in hospitals and health clinics. There were a number of emergency cases reported in the city and cantonment areas as the health of a good number of people deteriorated but they were unable to reach hospitals and clinics due to the suspension of transport system both private, Metro Bus Service, Rickshaws, and Yellow Cabs.

Incidents of deaths in relatives and people families were reported in many parts and areas of Rawalpindi and the affected people of the deceased find problems in purchasing funeral items like shrouds, flowers petals etc. as shops remained closed due to laying of barricades all over the places. A fewer number of Suzuki transporters who braved to bring their vehicles on roads had to adopt alternative routes to drop the passengers at their terminating stations. With the preventive and security measures taken at large scale, a major portion of people preferred to remain indoors because of which streets and roads remained deserted.

However, the citizens while expressing their views expressed concern over the way measures were taken to prevent people from participating in the protest rally. Security measures are good and need to be taken but not in a way to prevent people from participating in rallies, public meetings etc. as witnessed, they said. Not only the motorists, bike users, and transporters faced trouble but today even the pedestrians faced hardships in moving along the roads and streets because of the placement of containers, large vehicles.

The people urged the government and the administration not to adopt such measures which making security arrangements which bring entire business activity to a standstill besides posing hardships and difficulties and other problems like signal closure and transport suspension.