Pakistan

Imran directs workers to end protests


As tensions remain high and protests continue to choke the main arteries of the twin cities and other highways, PTI chief Imran Khan on Tuesday directed the party workers to end the ongoing protests in various cities in view of the difficulties faced by the public.

However, no such decision has yet been taken regarding the protests in the surrounding areas of Islamabad.

PTI leaders have been also informed about the party leader’s decision to end the ongoing protests – which were triggered across the country after the assassination attempt on him last week – in a bid to clear up the crucial roads and routes.

According to the sources, a report was presented to Imran Khan about the public response to the closure of major highways, in which it was said that educational institutions in the twin cities were also shut down due to PTI protests in Rawalpindi.

Besides, due to PTI protests, the ambulance service was also disrupted, sources said adding that the disrupted public life was creating a 'bad impression' among the masses about the PTI in Punjab, where the party is at the helm of affairs.

Supporters block roads in new protest

Supporters of the former prime minister blocked roads near the capital on Tuesday, disrupting traffic and forcing schools to close, as they protested against a bid to assassinate their leader at a recent anti-government rally.

Imran, who has been pressing for a general election since he was ousted as prime minister after losing a confidence vote in parliament in April, was shot at the rally last Thursday. He is recovering from leg wounds. "People are finding it very hard to go to work," said police official Yawar Ali. "Families have been stuck in the traffic for hours. We've even got reports that the protesters have not let ambulances pass."

However, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has rejected his demand for new polls and the deadlock has stoked instability in the nuclear-armed country of 220 million people. Khan's supporters began their protests on major roads around Islamabad late on Monday.

They have blocked the highway to Islamabad's international airport and the ones linking the capital to the cities of Lahore and Peshawar.

Television footage showed Imran’s supporters burning tyres as they set up protest camps across roads. The government ordered all state and private schools to shut for the day, according to an order seen by Reuters.Imran, 70, launched what is known as a long-march protest rally from Lahore to the capital on Oct. 28.

He was waving to the crowd from a container mounted on a truck in Wazirabad city in Punjab province last Thursday when a man fired several shots at him. Khan was among 10 wounded people.One party worker was killed. Police have arrested the suspected shooter.

PTI announced late on Monday that the march would resume on Thursday at the place where Khan was attacked, and he would lead it virtually. The political tension comes as Pakistan is grappling with economic turmoil exacerbated by recent flooding that the government estimates caused economic losses worth $30 billion.


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