Plight of twin cities


ISLAMABAD and Rawalpindi being seats of governance need
complete peace and tranquillity as disturbances have implications not just for people of the twin cities but for the entire country. The country-wide shutter down of traders and businessmen, which also affected the two cities, is now being followed by another period of chaos and uncertainty and that too for an unspecified period as there are no indications as yet as to which direction the Azadi March of Maulana Fazlur Rehman would ultimately proceed.
Marches of the past, which were converted into long-drawn sit-downs by the organizers once they arrived in the federal capital, are still haunting memories of the people of the twin cities. Movement of the people was seriously jeopardized as organizers occupied main roads and arteries and as a consequence office-goers could not reach their work places regularly, shops and bazaars remained shut for fear of being vandalized, educational institutions were forced to close down and even patients were unable to make it to medical facilities. There is a legitimate apprehension that the same fate is awaiting once again for people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It is not the organizers alone that cause disruption to life but the strategy of the local administration and provincial and federal governments also complicate things for citizens. Main roads are unnecessarily barricaded and traffic diverted to badly maintained routes and as a result traffic jams make life of the commuters miserable. Disruption of normal life has more consequences for daily wagers and labourers and it becomes a nightmare for them to meet their daily essential needs. Similarly, telephone and Internet are now considered to be necessities of life but the authorities routinely resort to their closure causing unimaginable socio-economic loss to the people. Bitter experience of the past also highlighted the need to have alternative routes to ensure unhindered access of people to most parts of the twin-cities.

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