Countrywide sit-ins begin to dissipate after govt, protesters reach agreement | Pakistan

KARACHI/LAHORE: Countrywide protests that sprung up after Islamabad operation have started to disperse after protest groups and government reached an agreement early Monday.

Following the voluntary resignation of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid, the government and Faizabad protesters reached an agreement on to end the sit-in.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasoolullah made the official announcement to end the sit-in around 10:30am. He said they have been given 12 hours to move out.

He appealed to protesters across the country to disperse, adding that the Faizabad-based protesters are packing up their things and will soon vacate the sit-in site.

Shops, hotels and bus stops in Faizabad are open to public now after the area remained paralysed for over 20 days by protesters demanding Hamid’s resignation.

Lahore residents breathed a sigh of relief after all sections of motorway were opened for traffic, Motorway Police Spokesman said.

Protesters, however, continue to occupy Shahdara Chowk and Mall Road.

Shops and major roads in Rawalpindi are also open, as life returns to normal in twin cities.

Peshawar’s Ring Road, where sit-ins were carried out for three consecutive days, has now been opened.

Sit-ins at all 14 places which were occupied by demonstrators have been cleared and traffic flow is returning back to normal.

Shops and markets in Clifton, Old City area, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Aram bagh and Jamia Cloth opened after countrywide sit-ins started to retreat.

MA Jinnah Road, Malir, Landhi, Korangi and other areas are also open.

The Islamabad-Lahore Motorway, along with other major road and rail links, remains closed at the moment but is expected to be reopened once the protesters disperse.

Protests held in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the last three days resulted in at least one death and left dozens injured, besides the over 200 injuries reported in Islamabad.

Traffic jams were seen in various cities, resulting in commuters and ambulances being stuck for hours.

Manshera, Swat, Mardan in KP as well as Mirpur Azad were also affected by sit-ins.

Bus and train services in Lahore and Rawalpindi were suspended for two days, which resulted in severe issue for commuters.

News Reporter

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