Blocked roads reopened in twin cities after govt-TLP talks make headway

Published October 25, 2021
A container being removed from I.J. Principal Road on Sunday after the TLP postpones its march to Islamabad. — White Star
A container being removed from I.J. Principal Road on Sunday after the TLP postpones its march to Islamabad. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: After successful talks between the federal government and the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), blocked roads in the federal capital and the garrison city were reopened on Sunday.

A senior officer of the capital administration said all roads had been cleared and containers removed from roads removed and placed on the roadsides.

He, however, said the containers will remain kept along the roads.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Sunday visited Lahore to convince the TLP leadership to call off its march towards Islamabad.

Containers to remain along roads for time being, official says

The TLP workers were supposed to hold a march from Lahore to Islamabad but the interior minister said he held successful talks with its leadership and they would not march towards Islamabad rather will hold a sit-in near Muridke.

Following this, the administration in Islamabad and Rawalpindi opened all roads by removing containers.

The capital administration itself had closed down several roads, including Faizabad Interchange in a bid to stop the protesters from reaching Islamabad.

Roads leading to Parliament House and Diplomatic Enclave were also closed by placing containers.

“Now, the issue is resolved and all roads have been cleared,” the officer said.

Meanwhile, life in the garrison city of Rawalpindi returned to normality after three days of virtual siege as barricades were removed from roads and streets when the interior minister announced that the TLP workers would not move to Islamabad.

The garrison city was virtually sealed off with heavy shipping freight containers, concrete blocks, razor wire etc., to prevent any protest by the TLP workers and activists.

Business and other activities remained suspended on Friday, Saturday and till Sunday afternoon when the district administration was asked to open the roads and the police to relax till Tuesday.

Police had made several arrests during three days of the crackdown against the TLP workers and activists in Rawalpindi, Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal.

Despite reopening of the roads, the city was still tense as markets which were not fully opened presented a deserted look.

Besides the business community, daily wage workers, public transporters, students and office goers remained disturbed due to the situation.

In addition to the elite force commandos, heavy deployment of anti-riot police had also been made in the city.

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2021

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