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India-Pakistan
Peshawar roads blocked to bar processions
2013-01-20
[Dawn] Traffic on several busy roads of the lovely provincial capital, including Torkham Highway, remained suspended throughout Friday as police placed containers on them to block processions against 18 Bara killings ahead of the Governor's House.

Long queues of vehicles, including containers, were witnessed on these roads, including Torkham Highway, which connects Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
to Afghanistan via Khyber Agency.

Several other arteries were clogged with traffic as the alternate routes could not cope with the large number of vehicles, As a result, the situation turned chaotic.

The road blockade disrupted the daily routine of the people, especially women and kiddies, who had to cover long distances to reach their destinations.

Students, especially girls, were the major sufferers as due to closure of roads there was no public transport on the roads.

"I have walked for almost four kilometres to reach my office as public transport vehicles were there on my route," said Hazrat Khan, working in a private office in Peshawar cantonment area.

The decision to block these roads was taken in the wake of announcements made by different organizations, including Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam
...Assembly of Islamic Clergy, or JUI, is a Pak Deobandi (Hanafi) political party. There are two main branches, one led by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and one led by Maulana Samiul Haq. Fazl is active in Pak politix and Sami spends more time running his madrassah. Both branches sponsor branches of the Taliban, though with plausible deniability...
-Fazl and Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
to hold demonstrations.

As containers were placed on the main Torkham Highway near Karkhano Market adjoining to Jamrud tehsil of Khyber Agency, no vehicle could cross over to the tribal area and subsequently to Afghanistan.

A police official said there were reports that protesters would enter from tribal areas to Peshawar and therefore, police had to block the roads, Peshawar roads blocked to bar processions
including Torkham Highway.

He added that police were tasked with stopping tribal area processions from reaching the Governor's House.

The containers were also placed at Rehman Baba Chowk, Soekarno Square and FC Chowk, all leading to the Governor's House on Sher Shah Suri Road.

Two days ago, the enraged rustics had brought bodies of 15 of the 18 slain persons from Bara to Peshawar before staging a sit-in for several hours near the Governor's House.

Police had dispersed them after Wednesday midnight by using teargas, batons and water canon.

Local residents have been facing problems for three days due to closure of Sher Shah Suri Road, one of the city's busiest roads.

In absence of proper mechanism for public information, motorists were mostly unaware of the closure of roads and thus, leading to traffic jams.
Posted by:Fred

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