Islamabad wears deserted look as ‘Azadi March’ enters city

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Islamabad, Nov 1 (IANS) Islamabad on Friday wore a deserted look as the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) ‘Azadi March’, led by its chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to call for toppling the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, reached the capital city.
The marchers, who set out from Karachi on Sunday, left Lahore on Wednesday and culminated its journey on Thursday night in Islamabad.
Friday’s development comes after the ruling and the opposition parties reached an agreement to let the anti-government march progress as planned, as long as they protesters do not cross the sensitive “Red Zone” in Islamabad.
The “Red Zone” has been blocked with containers along with security personnel on stand-by, Dawn news reported.
All school will remain close in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on Friday, due to the convergence of JUI-F’s caravan in the federal city, according to Geo News.
Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad will also remain closed for two days.
Metro Bus Service between Islamabad and Rawalpindi will also not be functional for an undefined period of time.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court on Thursday directed the federal government not to obstruct lawful business of traders for maintaining public order during the ‘Azadi March’.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued the direction after taking up a petition filed by a private goods transport company against detaining of its containers to block roads.
Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat informed the court that “no container loaded with commercial goods has been detained or obstructed within Islamabad Capital Territory”, Dawn news reported
He said the federal government had allocated 60 million Pakistani rupees for maintaining public order during the march and assured the court that the traders would be compensated for detaining the containers.
Prime Minister Imran Khan posed a query to the participants “who they are seeking ‘azadi’ (freedom) from?”.
The JUI-F supremo is expected to present his demands at a rally after the Friday prayers, which will also be addressed by opposition leaders.

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