If you’re a resident of Islamabad or Rawalpindi, you have been a witness of the fuckshow that has been Islamabad for the past week or so. The roads have been blocked without any prior announcements, the traffic is maddening and there is no eminent news of when the cities will be spared. What was first imagined as security protocol for Chelum later transpired into a protest by two religious groups who have taken the Islamabad Highway hostage until their demands are met.
The over 3000 protesters who have set up blockades and containers are a major inconvenience to the daily traffic and commuters between the cities, where the common man is forced to take an alternative route, also mired with the metro construction. Those who do approach the area cordoned off are searched with clubs and vehicles refused to let pass, some even being pelted with stones.
Residents are visibly frustrated.
Islamabad traffic you are killing me. Wtf is happening.
— Zeeshan Kiyani (@ZeeshanKiyani) November 8, 2017
The traffic jams look much like scenes from a post-apocalyptic movie.
Islamabad Highway, WTF… pic.twitter.com/m9gVCXKpKN
— S A L M A N (@Goshtabae) November 8, 2017
There is a lot of conversation about the consequences of this senseless siege.
Islamabad is hijacked by Several Islamists, crippling the daily life of millions of people and underscoring challenges facing the country’s counter extremism efforts.
— Fahad Malik (@Fahad4014) November 13, 2017
Not only was this route blocked but also various other entry points into the city.
Dad is stuck on the M2 near Bhera. Traffic stuck behind some Jammati convoy enroute Islamabad moving extremely slowly. Why are these fuckers allowed to pull these stunts?
— Buffetkhor (@MyDixonCider) November 12, 2017
It has been over a week with no end in sight.
On Monday morning, crowds at the Islamabad blockade protest by Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan numbered in the hundreds, but they tend to grow through the day. Most here are into their sixth day sleeping on the road. pic.twitter.com/NbIjtbpesk
— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) November 13, 2017
And the protests are reaching dangerous precedents…
Pakistan’s capital Islamabad shut down by Islamist protestors calling for the release of blasphemy killers and death penalty for Christian woman Asia Bibi and a ban on persecuted #Ahmadiyya Muslims pic.twitter.com/csANNRy09U
— Rabwah Times (@RabwahTimes) November 10, 2017
…In a city that has history of Lal Masjid siege and hoards coming out in support of Mumtaz Qadri.
— Nazrana Ghaffar (@NazranaYusufzai) November 10, 2017
All the while, the Government remains inactive during these visibly distressing protests.
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) November 11, 2017
Amidst the visible hysteria, a child has already lost the battle for his life because of the ambulance being unable to reach to the hospital in time.
Hello to all heartless people. Who find “dharna” a solution, here is an ambulance not getting way at Muree road Rawalpindi. And clearly it has a very serious patient inside. #LifeFromRwp #ReligiousDharna pic.twitter.com/uE95TjiyEp
— Iram Ahmad Khan (@Iram_Ahmad_Khan) November 13, 2017
Eight police officials were also allegedly kidnapped and tortured by the said right-wingers.
With FIRs being issued.
While freedom of expression must be safeguarded at all times, this protest has been far from peaceful.
These people have already incited violence against a sitting federal minister and his family, have assaulted police officials and bystanders, stopped public transport and have harassed no end…
— Mighty (@mightyobvious) November 13, 2017
What are your thoughts regarding this? Should the ‘khatam-e-naboowat‘ rally be allowed to push the Government’s buttons? Do you feel this religious protest might have political motivations? Let us know in the comments section below.
Cover Image via: dawn.com