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1 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 November, 2019 12:34:40 AM
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Pakistan capital braces for Islamist march

AFP, Islamabad
Pakistan capital braces for Islamist march
This photo shows vehicles drive along a road outside the Red Zone, blocked with containers, ahead of the the arrival of the "Azadi (Freedom) March"yesterday. AFP Photo

Schools were shuttered and entry points to Islamabad sealed off yesterday as thousands of Islamist protesters aiming to unseat the government converged on the Pakistan capital.

Police and paramilitary troops used shipping containers to block several major traffic arteries between the capital and the neighbouring city of Rawalpindi ahead of the march, causing traffic jams and frustrating commuters. “The main entry points were closed to ensure the safety of the citizens and government offices,” Islamabad police spokesperson Zia Bajwa told AFP, saying a 17,000-strong force was overseeing security in the capital.

The “Azadi (Freedom) March” is led by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s long-time rival Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who heads the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), one of the country’s largest Islamist parties. The march represents the first major challenge to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government as his administration battles rising public anger over a faltering economy and double-digit inflation.

Rehman and thousands of supporters departed Jhelum district—some 126 kilometres (78 miles) east of the capital Islamabad—earlier Thursday, party spokesman Abdul Jalil Jan told AFP. A second group was due to leave from the northwestern city of Peshawar en route to the capital, where the two convoys would converge late Thursday evening.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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