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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s workers continued their protests by blocking roads linking Islamabad with Rawalpindi and other parts of the country against an assassination attempt on PTI chief Imran Khan for the third day on Wednesday.

The protesters have closed Murree Road, Pirwadhai Mor, Gulzar-e-Quaid, Old Airport Road, Sarai Kal Chowk Taxila, Rata Shah Chowk Margalla, Motorway M2, Islamabad near Lahore Toll Plaza and some other areas. The ongoing protests have paralysed traffic and forced schools to close in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on motorways and some other roads due to which people could not reach to their desired destinations.

Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, the deputy speaker in the Punjab Assembly, has asked the protesters to continue the protest against the assassination attempt on Imran Khan, as well as, till the fulfilment of the PTI’s demands. The protesters expressed their resolve that they would continue their protests till the announcement of fresh elections and initiation of an independent investigation of the life attempt on the PTI chief after the removal of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior military officer from their posts.

The protesters bearing placards, banners, and party flags have chanted slogans against the federal government and in favour of the chairman of the PTI. They expressed solidarity with Imran Khan and demanded to register the first information report (FIR) of the incident as per their demand.

The PTI’s sit-in near the GT Road Swan Bridge caused long lines of cargo vehicles and halted other traffic, including public transport.

Traders in Rawalpindi complained that the ongoing protest would have a serious impact on already fragile businesses if it continued for a long time.

According to traffic police, the old airport road was blocked by protesters. Due to the blockade, the traffic was diverted to alternative routes. They said that Murree Road was blocked near Iqbal Park, while Pirwadhai Mor towards I.J.P. Road was also closed for traffic.

The traffic police said that a section of the GT Road near Margalla Hills and Sarai Kala Chowk was also blocked.

To maintain law and order and avoid any untoward incident, heavy contingents of police, Frontier Constabulary (FC), and Rangers were deployed at Faizabad and other protest sites.

The city police also put security on high alert, especially in the Red Zone and generally across the city.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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