National highways blocked as JUI-F’s ‘Plan-B’ kicks off PPP refuses to join Maulana’s protest

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Staff Reporters

Karachi / Lahore / Quetta / Peshawar

Sporadic protests erupted in major cities of the country as JUI-F protestors ended their sit-in in the federal capital and following their party chief’s orders took the Azadi March to every nook and cranny of the country as part of Plan–B.
JUI-F’s 13-day dharna was abruptly called off in the federal capital where thousands of Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s followers and activists of allied parties had been camping since November 1, calling for Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign and call fresh elections.
The protestors on Thursday blocked major arteries and highways including Hakimabad Grand Trunk (GT) road in Nowshera and Hub road in the outskirts of Karachi.
Despite Pakistan Peoples Party distancing itself from Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s ‘Plan B’ and saying that they will not allow activists to blocks roads, JUI-F protestors barricaded the highway linking Karachi with the Hub River Road.
The protest that began around 2pm forced locals to abandon their vehicles and walk home. Vehicles travelling between Sindh and Balochistan were diverted to Manghopir Road. Similar protests were witnessed in Balochistan where sit-ins were staged in Khuzdar and Qila Abdullah.
Meanwhile, the PPP on Thursday distanced itself from Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s ‘Plan B’, stating that the party will not participate in blocking roads and highways.
Soon after the JUI-F chief called off his sit-in in Islamabad, Fazl said that the protest movement set off by the ‘Azadi March’ would spread to every corner of the country, blocking “major arteries and highways – and even bylanes and streets”. “From day one our policy is clear. We will not become a party of dharna politics. We supported the Azadi March, but can’t come on the roads at this moment,” a senior PPP leader said, adding that the party’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has convened a party meeting to further discuss the issue.

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