Karachi: Religious hardliners across the country have blocked roads in major cities for a third day on Friday in protest against the acquittal of a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy allegations.
Ultra-islamist party Tehreek-e-Labaik (TLP) said talks with the government have failed, and called upon its followers to get ready for a show down.
“Talks have completely failed, Federal and provincial representatives and an Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) General Faiz took part in talks,” Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of TLP said in a tweet early on Friday morning.
“Government has warned,´we will finish you off´,” Rizvi said in his tweet.
Knots of protesters from TLP have blocked roughly 10 roads in the southern city of Karachi and others in eastern Lahore, Geo TV and other channels said.
As protests continue, various roads of major cities have been barricaded and commuters are advised to refrain from using the following routes:
As many as 25 places in Karachi have been blocked including:
Teen Talwar, Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Star Gate at Shahra-e-Faisal, Numaish, Sohrab Goth, Korangi 5, Ranchor Line, Power House Chowrangi, Nagan Chowrangi, Qayyumabad, Murtaza and Bilal Chowrangis, New Karachi, Surjani Town, Landhi 89 and Teen Hatti have been blocked.
The road to Jinnah International Airport from Star Gate has been blocked and commuters are advised to use the University Road.
In Lahore, roads at Charring Cross at Mall Road, Data Darbar, Shahdara Chowk, Askari X, Kalma Chowk and Bhatta Chowk have been blocked.
Roads leading to Muridke, Nathe Khalsa, Paka Meel and Mohlanwal have also been barred from being used.
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Faizabad Interchange is blocked. Moreover, roads at Dhoke Kala Khan and Tramri and Karal Chowks are blocked.
A motorways spokesperson said that routes to Lahore and Kamoke to Rawalpindi are open for traffic. However, the motorway from Kamoke to Lahore is blocked.
Further, roads leading to Taxila, Pir Sohawa, Sarai Alamgir and Gujrat are blocked.
Ring Road and GT Road have been blocked. Roads leading to the motorway have also been blocked.
On Wednesday, following the protests, Section 144 was imposed across Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan barring the gathering of more than four persons in public places as well as pillion riding. Section 144 has been imposed till November 10.
Mobile services suspended in Islamabad, Lahore
Mobile phone services have been suspended in Islamabad and other major cities of Punjab today (Friday).
As per details, the mobile and internet services have been suspended in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Gujranwala owing to security concerns after the protests being held across the country against the acquittal of Asia Bibi continue.
Educational institutions face closure
Owing to the prevailing precarious security situation, all government and private educational institutes in the federal capital and across Punjab would remain closed today to avoid any untoward situation.
Sindh Government has also decided that all Schools in Karachi will remain closed.
Furthermore, private and public educational institutions are also closed across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.