Islamabad & Rawalpindi:
On the verge the arrival of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s Azadi March:
The twin cities “Islamabad and Rawalpindi” administrations and traffic police have planned extensive traffic diversions and routes so that the marchers will take on the way to their venue in H-9.
Half of the capital Islamabad & adjoining city Rawalpindi appears to have been sealed using containers and barbed wire, making local residents confused when they saw the capital closed once again.
The march is likely to enter the capital today (Thursday) evening, but the Police & Army have sealing the city a day before. They have replaced containers on different roads, around the Red Zone and the Faizabad and Zero Point interchanges.
The police said: “Roads leading towards the Red Zone are blocked as a precaution to counter any moves by JUI-F’s Azadi March to reach sensitive areas in the capital city.”
The roads so far have been sealed, with little space open for normal traffic. Vehicle can move through the space one at a time but this will cause conjestion during traffic hours.
The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) on Wednesday also issued a plan for participants of the march as well as diversions in place for citizens.
The main gathering will be at the H-9 Metro Ground, and the parking area has been specified for the march participants.
Rallies coming from Peshawar via the motorway or the G.T. Road will come from Chungi No.26 via Kashmir Highway, and will park their vehicles on both sides of the Peshawar Mor and G-9 turn.
Rallies coming from Lahore via the G.T. Road will use the Islamabad Expressway, and those coming from Murree or Bhara Kahu will reach Faizabad via the Dhoke Kala Khan flyover and approach 9th Avenue Chowk, from where they will reach the venue. Their vehicles will be parked on the 9th Avenue Service Road (West).
Those going to the Expressway, Bhara Kahu, Murree and Rawalpindi may use the route of Margalla Road, 9th Avenue, I.J. Principal Road or Faisal Avenue Chowk, Faizabad, the Expressway, Murree Road and I.J. Principal Road.
The traffic plan issued by Islamabad Traffic Police shows the route people can follow today.Those going to the motorway, Peshawar or the airport from Murree or Bhara Kahu will use Murree Road, Rawal Dam Chowk and I.J. Principal Road.
Despite confusion regarding the route in place for the Azadi March, the Rawalpindi police have planned traffic diversions and security arrangements, including the deployment of 4,000 police and 360 Rangers, in the city.
There is a district control room set up to deal with any emergencies and coordinate with the relevant authorities, headed by the assistant commissioner (headquarters). Another control room has been set up at Parade Ground in Islamabad to monitor the march.
According to sources, negotiations between JUI-F leaders and provincial authorities were underway to decide what route rallies will take; the JUI-F has been insisting on Murree Road instead of the Expressway, but the latter do not want to grant permission for them to use Murree Road.
The situation has led to confusion for police planning final traffic diversions. Sources said the City Traffic Police (CTP) have planned traffic diversions for either decision.