Peshawar roads blocked to bar processions

Published Jan 19, 2013 01:14am

PESHAWAR, Jan 18: Traffic on several busy roads of the provincial capital, including Torkham Highway, remained suspended throughout Friday as police placed containers on them to block processions against 18 Bara killings ahead of the Governor’s House.

Long queues of vehicles, including containers, were witnessed on these roads, including Torkham Highway, which connects Peshawar to Afghanistan via Khyber Agency.

Several other arteries were clogged with traffic as the alternate routes could not cope with the large number of vehicles, As a result, the situation turned chaotic.

The road blockade disrupted the daily routine of the people, especially women and children, who had to cover long distances to reach their destinations.

Students, especially girls, were the major sufferers as due to closure of roads there was no public transport on the roads.

“I have walked for almost four kilometres to reach my office as public transport vehicles were there on my route,” said Hazrat Khan, working in a private office in Peshawar cantonment area.

The decision to block these roads was taken in the wake of announcements made by different organisations, including Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and Jamaat-i-Islami to hold demonstrations.

As containers were placed on the main Torkham Highway near Karkhano Market adjoining to Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency, no vehicle could cross over to the tribal area and subsequently to Afghanistan.

A police official said there were reports that protesters would enter from tribal areas to Peshawar and therefore, police had to block the roads, Peshawar roads blocked to bar processions including Torkham Highway.

He added that police were tasked with stopping tribal area processions from reaching the Governor’s House.

The containers were also placed at Rehman Baba Chowk, Soekarno Square and FC Chowk, all leading to the Governor’s House on Sher Shah Suri Road.

Two days ago, the enraged tribesmen had brought bodies of 15 of the 18 slain persons from Bara to Peshawar before staging a sit-in for several hours near the Governor’s House.

Police had dispersed them after Wednesday midnight by using teargas, batons and water canon.

Local residents have been facing problems for three days due to closure of Sher Shah Suri Road, one of the city’s busiest roads.

In absence of proper mechanism for public information, motorists were mostly unaware of the closure of roads and thus, leading to traffic jams.

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