The entire country is on lockdown as officials prepare for riots.
The Supreme Court made a landmark judgment yesterday when they acquitted Aasia Bibi for blasphemy charges. Aasia Bibi had spent the last 8 years in prison on false charges levied against her.
While scores of people within Pakistan and even internationally celebrated this acquittal, the far right within Pakistan was less than pleased by it. Retaliation from the right was already expected if such a judgment was passed and of course, they did not disappoint.
She's been offered asylum by 🏴England, 🇫🇷France, 🇪🇸Spain & 🇮🇹Italy… the Pope met one of her daughters and husband earlier this year.
CJ Saqib Nisar hailed as Hero by the British Parliament 👇👇👇👇 pic.twitter.com/73hT5b8MZ4
— JB (@badnocs) October 31, 2018
Only moments after the historical judgment was made, members of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan along with their leader Khadim Rizvi spoke out against it and stated that they will not rest till Aasia Bibi was hanged.
And to help their cause, they immediately mobilized and shut down main roads in different cities across the country to disrupt everyday life and in an effort to make the government and judiciary bow down to their wishes.
However, that did not happen and they vowed not to back down which escalated matters quite a bit. The Prime Minister even addressed the nation that anyone who causes harm to public property or to other people will be dealt with accordingly.
Cities have since then been on high alert and entry points have been closed down. So the people on highways are pretty much stranded.
Thanks @TeamLabbaik from me and Aliph, and all the other mothers and babies, as well as all the animals tied by the nose for hours and hours and hours. Tbh so few crazies, too many scaredies. #AasiaBibi pic.twitter.com/yOLvvFLnBA
— Amna Mawaz Khan (@Anarchistani) November 1, 2018
According to reports, some people have been stranded in different cities and areas for more over 23 hours.
Stuck badly In https://t.co/c5DUlcc9dA Bus,No flight,no way to go out😟😟😟
— قدسیہ بانو(QB) (@DrQudsiyaBano) November 1, 2018
Stuck at motorway from last 11 hours with family and still have no idea when this protest will finish. Allah hadayat dy sub ko..
— Rana Imran (@imImranM) October 31, 2018
My father has been stuck in Multan since yesterday.
Daewoo has suspended its operations
— Muhammad Salman (@salman_arsenal) November 1, 2018
Stop telling people M2 is open to lahore. It’s not! I just got turned back from entering lahore by people with wooden batons in their hands.
— Noor Imran (@NoorImran_) November 1, 2018
Nothing going I am also stranded at Nishat Mills Bhikhi Sheikhupura since yesterday, tried to sneak in Lahore around 4:00 am but protesters turned us back 😔
— Syed Asad Ali (@ubbermensch) November 1, 2018
This girl even wrote a post about her own experience, stuck on the motorway.
They’ll tell you there are traffic jams across Pakistan. But that’s all they’ll tell you. They won’t tell you about…
And apparently, in certain areas, mobile phone networks have been suspended as well.
No mobile network covergae from 16 hours 😁 I have literally stopped using my number for calls and text messages. The only use of sim card in my phone is to have 3G. pic.twitter.com/MAhIblnKLo
— Madiha Abbas Naqvi (@Madeeha_Naqvi) November 1, 2018
#LhrAlerts Made it to office on Mason Road from Cavalry perfectly fine. Took less time actually since there’s no traffic. Cell phone services suspended in the area though. Landlines working.
— Fahad Malik (@FhdMalik) November 1, 2018
The biggest issue in all of this is the uncertainty, no one really knows how long this will go on for. And how much longer people will be stranded on motorways and near the entrances of various cities across the country. The entire situation is already distressing but the element of uncertainty certainly makes it much worse.
You can keep yourself updated on different closed routes and what areas to avoid by following our Twitter handle @MangoBaaz.
Were you stuck somewhere during the protests? Let us know in the comments! And send us your videos and stories as well!
Cover Image Source: @anarchistani/@imwaqasdogar via Twitter.com