LAHORE: On the appeal of religious parties, major city markets remained closed in protest against Saturday’s violence at Yateem Khana Chowk, Multan Road, which reportedly left some workers of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan dead and many others, including policemen, injured.

However, most of the small markets situated in residential areas were open.

On the other hand, the entire goods transport remained parked at truck terminals while the intercity public transport observed a partial strike in Lahore.

The intercity transport originating from city bus terminal and others near Yateem Khana and Babu Sabu observed a complete strike. Though the situation was not the same at Badami Bagh and Jinnah terminal, most transporters intentionally kept their buses parked there till 11am in a bid to first assess the law and order situation and then start operations. But the intercity bus services being run from Kalma Chowk, Thokar Niaz Beg and DHA remained operational.

Goods transport remains fully non-functional; intercity public transport partially operative

“The intercity transport was completely idle on Saturday at all terminals, including Jinnah bus terminal situated near Thokar, and Babu Sabu (Sikandria Colony). But the bus terminals at Badami Bagh, Thokar and other areas remained opened. But they have low number of passengers due to the ongoing month of Ramazan and Covid-19 spread etc,” an official of the Lahore Regional Transport Authority told Dawn.

The goods transport remained non-operational, as the truckers parked their vehicles at various terminals near Sabzazar, Circular Road and near Walled City.

“We have supported the strike call and decided to not operate our vehicles today,” said Pakistan Goods Transport secretary general Nabeel Tariq.

The major markets that remained closed included Ichhra Bazaar, marble and sanitary markets (Ferozepur Road), furniture market (Ichhra), Neela Gunband, Main Gulberg market and boulevard, Siddique Trade Centre, Anarkali, Montgomery Road, The Mall, Beadon Road, Auriga, Pace Shopping Mall, Lytton Road Rickshaw Market, Chungi Amar Sadhu, Yateem Khana Bazaar, all markets, shopping centres at Multan Road, especially from Kharak to Chauburji, markets near station, Loha Market, Urdu Bazaar, Akbari Mandi, various markets in Johar Town, Township and Faisal Town, medicine market (Lohari), most jeweller shops, Shahdara, Sanda, Nisbet Road, Shalimar Road and Garhi Shahu, Allama Iqbal Road.

“Lahore observed a complete strike to express solidarity with all those injured or killed during violence on Saturday and to condemn the government for using force on those protesting for compliance of the agreement the government made with them earlier,” All Pakistan Anjuman Tajiran (APAT) general secretary Naeem Mir said in a press release.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021

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