Uneasy calm descends on capital after Saturday’s clashes

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Roads, markets remain deserted; local schools, universities to remain close today
Zubair Qureshi

After Saturday’s fierce clashes between the law-enforcing agencies and the workers and protesters belonging to the Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA), an uneasy calm descended on the federal capital and very few people and commuters ventured to move between the twin cities.
Not only roads were deserted, parks and playgrounds also kept waiting for players, visitors and families but owing to the deteriorating law and order situation in the country in general and in the twin cities in particular very few persons came out of the houses that too in case of some urgency.
A visit of the city on Sunday was sufficient to tell the citizens in Islamabad are deeply shaken due to the recent days’ incidents of violence and protests.
A number of shopkeepers and traders when contacted by Pakistan Observer said they could not manage their businesses properly because most of their staff came from Rawalpindi and due to the police-protesters’ clashes, it seemed highly unlikely that they could make it for next couple of days.
Meanwhile, private transport running between Islamabad and Rawalpindi also remained off the road and those few plying between the twin cities had to go without sufficient number of passengers.
Talking to Pakistan Observer, a worker at a local mall said he had to leave early in the morning at about 6 a.m. from Saddar in order to reach the shop at 9 a.m.
This is how we, the Pindi residents had to go through daily ordeal of long hours of travel and with little hope that the situation would return to normalcy.
Similarly, the Capital Administration &Development Division on Sunday issued a notification declaring November 27 a school holiday.
According to the notification, “Federal Directorate of Education hereby announces that all 423 educational institutions under the administrative control of FDE shall remain closed tomorrow on November 27 owing to the present law and order situation in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.”
Meanwhile, private educational institutions too have announced holidays for next two days in the capital.
NUST, Quaid-e-Azam University, Federal Education University, NUML, Bahria, Air University, International Islamic University and all the other universities situated in the federal capital have also announced closure on Monday (today).
Talking to media DG FDE Hasnat Ahmed Qureshi said presently keeping in view the precarious law and order situation in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, it has been decided to observe one-day holiday ie Nov 27 but if the situation remains uncertain for a few days more, the holidays will be extended.

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