ISLAMABAD: A largely successful shutter down strike was observed in the federal capital on Monday against the police operation in Lahore on Sunday.

The strike call was given by Mufti Muneebur Rehman while addressing a press conference in Karachi.

Chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq had also announced full support to the strike call.

Traders led by Ajmal Baloch who is also the President All Pakistan Anjuman-i-Tajiran extended his support to the strike.

The business centres of Islamabad are expected to remain closed on April 20 too.

Ajmal Baloch has also supported the march towards French embassy on Tuesday (today).

Most of the main markets in Islamabad mainly Aabpara market, Karachi Company, Melody, Sitara market were closed but the response was mixed in F-8, F-10 Markaz and lackluster in Super market and Jinnah Super.

The markets in the sub-sectors remained mostly open across the city.

However, the striking traders remained peaceful.

The traders staged a rally in Karachi Company and at Aabpara Chowk which were addressed by leaders of Anjuman-i- Tajiran.

Addressing the protest gathering at Aabpara Chowk, Ajmal Baloch reiterated the longstanding demand of banned TLP that the government should expel the French ambassador.

The protesters held placards and banners demanding expulsion of French ambassador, judicial inquiry into the Sunday’s Lahore incident and removal of Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid.

Among those who addressed the rally at Aabpara included All Pakistan Markazi Jamiat-ul-Quraysh President Khurshid Ahmad Qureshi, President Traders Welfare Association Chaudhry Kashif and other office bearers of Anjuman-i-Tajiran Pakistan. They asked the traders to participate in the march towards the French embassy scheduled for today (Tuesday).

Rawalpindi

A partial shutter down strike was observed in the Rawalpindi division, including the garrison city on Monday.The wholesale markets, Mochi Bazaar, Urdu Bazaar, Raja Bazaar, Ganj Mandi, Commercial Market Satellite town, DAV College Road, Bohar Bazar, Narankari Bazar, Saddar, Lal Kurti and other adjoining markets remained completely closed, while a handful of protesters staged a protest at Urdu Bazar chowk, a few meters from Sheikh Rashid’s Lal Havaili.

As many as 250 protesters appeared on the main intersection in Kallar Syedan and staged a protest and demanded the release of TLP leaders and workers.

The protesters set old tyres on fire in the middle of the road and blocked the traffic.

However, a good number of shopkeepers opened their shops in small markets and streets across the Rawalpindi division as no shutter down was observed in Jhelum.

In Rawalpindi, according to official sources 25pc shutters were down, 20pc in Chakwal and 30pc in Attock.

Contingents of police and Rangers had been deployed at sensitive places as the law enforcement continued patrolling in the city and cantonment areas. Due to closure of main markets, the vehicular traffic on main roads remained thin.

Lawyers in Rawalpindi also staged a protest at Katchury Chowk and later they held a meeting at Iqbal Hall in the district court premises under the chairmanship of bar President Rizwan Akhtar Awan.

The member of Punjab bar Council said that the lawyers’ community had played their role in honoring the Holy Prophet (PCUH) as the protection of the Holy Prophet is the basis and spirit of the faith of Muslims.

60 TLP activists held in Attock

The Attock Police arrested around 60 workers of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in a crackdown across the district.

According to police sources, 19 TLP workers were arrested from Attock city, 25 from Hazro, 15 from Fatehjang, four from Hazro while one from Jand.

Police sources said these workers had blocked roads following the arrest of TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi.

The police sources said these workers were identified using CCTV cameras and videos as well as mobile footages.

Main roads in Attock, Fatehjang, Jand and other parts of the district were blocked following his arrest, and people were stuck in traffic for hours.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2021

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