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ISLAMABAD: Traders' organizations in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, on Monday, staged a shutter down strike to condemn police action against the activists of banned Tahreek Labaik Pakistan (TLP) in Lahore on Sunday last.

Following a nationwide shutter down strike call announced by former Ruet-e-Hilal Committee chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman, trader's organizations in twin cities observed shutter down strike and strongly condemned police action as well as demanded of the government to expel the ambassador of France as well as a complete boycott of French products.

In Islamabad, traders observed shutter down and staged rallies in different markets including Aabpara, G-9 Markaz Karachi Company, sector I-10 Markaz, Bhara Kahu, and some other areas. However, protest rallies remained peaceful.

The All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) Chairman, Ajmal Baloch, talking to Business Recorder said that following the call of Rehman a complete shutter down have been observed in the capital city.

He said that traders demanded of the government to expel the ambassador of France from the country on an immediate basis from Pakistan and release TLP chief Saad Rizvi as well as all arrested workers. They also demanded of the government to cut diplomatic relations with France.

Similarly, traders in Rawalpindi closed their businesses and main markets including Raja Bazaar, Commercial Market, Murree Road, Saddar, Sixth Road, and Saidpur Road remained completely shut.

A number of people staged protest outside Lal Haveli, the residence of Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed and chanted slogans against him.

They also demanded to expel the French ambassador.

Meanwhile, the law enforcement agencies have put security on high alert in twin cities to avert any law and order situation in the wake of clashes between police and the TLP workers in Lahore as well as protest call of banned TLP to be started on April 20th (today).

The leaders of banned TLP have called their workers to assemble at grave of former chief of TLP Khadim Hussain Rizvi for staging march to Islamabad on April 20.

The TLP demanded to expel the French ambassador (on blasphemy charges). The French embassy also informed its citizens in Pakistan to leave temporarily due to threat by religious party.

The city police have deployed heavy contingent of police and Rangers at all entry and exit points of the cities. A heavy contingent of police and Rangers has been deployed at Faizabad, Bhara Kahu, Rawat, Tarnol, Tamrari, and other parts of the city.

The administration have placed huge number of shipping containers at Faizabad, and all roads leading to Red Zone on roadsides to avert entry of protesters to Red Zone which houses a number of embassies including France embassy.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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