Wednesday Oct 31, 2018
KARACHI: Supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) took to the streets in several parts of the country on Wednesday following a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death over blasphemy allegations.
Protests were being staged in different cities including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, with major roads blocked.
Following the protests, Section 144 was imposed across Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan barring the gathering of more than four persons in public places as well as pillion riding. Section 144 has been imposed from October 31 to November 10.
In Lahore, the main protest led by TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi was being staged at Charring Cross close to the Punjab Assembly.
Cellular network services were also suspended in several parts of the city.
According to the Safe City Authority, protests were being carried out at 25 different locations, effectively blocking roads and paralysing vehicular traffic across the city.
Affected areas included Ferozpur Road, Ghazi Chowk, Ravi Road, Kahna Kachha, Chungi Amar Sadhu, Shahdara Chowk, Data Darbar, Boota Mahal Chowk, Raiwind Road, Babu Sabu Interchange, and several other areas.
The Lahore-Islamabad Motorway was blocked at Sheikhupura, while the main thoroufare, the Grand Trunk Road, was also blocked.
In Islamabad, Faizabad, Aabpara, and Kashmir Highway adjacent to Aabpara were blocked by protesters.
Traffic has been blocked at 14 points across the metropolis as protests are being staged. Traffic has been blocked at Do Talwar, Korangi, on two points at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Shahrah-e-Pakistan, Orangi Town, Numaish and Liaquatabad.
According to Karachi traffic police, following roads in the metropolis were blocked:
Both sides of the road on Lyari Expressway from Karachi to Hyderabad were closed for traffic. Traffic was being diverted to Al-Asif Square towards Abul-Hassan Asfahani road.
Traffic was blocked on Shahra-e-Faisal near Star Gate.
Tower road was closed for traffic, with diversions from Jinnah Bridge towards MT Khan Road, MA Jinnah Road towards Baba-e-Urdu Chowk, and II Chundrigar Road towards University Centre.
Both sides of the road on Numaish Chowk were also closed for traffic.
In Peshwar, protests were being staged at the Ring Road, GT Road, Jamil Chowk, and outside the Peshawar Press Club.
Protests were also being staged in Gujranwala, Layyah, Chishtian, Mansehra, Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, and other cities across the country.