ISLAMABAD, November 12: The deadlock between the government and supporters of religious parties continued on Sunday as hundreds of protesters have blocked major roads in the twin cities, disrupting the lives of millions of people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Activists of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Yah Rasool Allah (TYL) party have been demanding the removal of the people involved over a recently omitted reference to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in a constitutional bill.
Although the minister apologised and clarified the omission was a clerical mistake, the demonstrators are keen that the government punish those responsible for the recent modification in the Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause, which has since been withdrawn.
The sit-in that started on Wednesday afternoon has entered its fifth day on Sunday, shutting down public transport and choking major arteries of the city.
The rally started off from Lahore, arriving in Islamabad on Wednesday at the famous Faizabad crossing – one of the major roads which connect Islamabad and Rawalpindi – causing a massive traffic jam leaving commuters stranded on the roads for hours. The Faizabad intersection is also a major link between Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab which is why intercity commuters suffered as well.
Hundreds of supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Yah Rasool Allah (TYL) party, or Movement of the Prophet’s Followers, chanted slogans
as speakers addressed them from atop a cargo truck, pledging their lives to protect Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
The ruling Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) unexpectedly set off a firestorm last month after voting through the alteration of the oath, among changes to the nation’s electoral law.
On the other hand, the sit-in made life miserable for those who regularly commute between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Many parents did not send their children school because of the uncertain situation.
People criticize city administration for disrupting lives. Stranded commuters were left in chaos as the government and law-enforcing agencies appeared to be absent as capital remain closed. – Agencies