[The News International 17 November 2019] KARACHI: Thousands of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) protesters continued to block highways across Pakistan for a third consecutive day on Saturday as part of the party’s ‘Plan-B’.
The Hub River Road, which connects Karachi to Balochistan, remained closed for heavy traffic. Police said traffic was diverted to Northern Bypass from Hub Toll Plaza. Similarly, the JUI-F and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) workers were also staging a sit-in at Dera Ismail Khan National Highway in Balochistan’s Zhob district, suspending all the vehicular traffic. The sit-in has cut off the contact between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, where passenger buses and cargo trucks have been stuck in large numbers.
The JUI-F workers were also protesting on the GT Road after pitching tents in Malakand district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Protests and road blockades are also continuing in other parts of the country as well. In Mansehra, the JUI-F activists allowed motorists to move ahead to their respective destinations at Karakorum Highway after they stormed their sit-in. The angry motorists and local passengers, who had remained stranded for hours in their vehicles at KKH in Ghazikot area, stormed the sit-in staged by the JUI-F activists, led by JUI-F district head Mufti Kifayatullah injuring four people.
An eyewitness told the reporters that baton-wielding Ansarul Islam activists forcibly pushed the angry motorists and locals, causing minor injuries to four persons.
The JUI-F re-established their blockade after allowing the passengers and motorists in Ghazikot area to move to their respective destinations. The JUI-F activists also blocked Karakoram Highway in Kohistan, causing inconvenience to motorists travelling between KP and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Mufti Kifayatullah told reporters that whatever his party was doing under its Plan-B was largely in the public interest. “We are in streets to get rid of a fascist government, which has plunged the country into economic turmoil and people can’t even get their basic necessities because of high inflation in the country,” said Kifayatullah.