KARACHI: Roads were blocked in major cities across the country as religious parties continued to protest for a second day on Thursday following a Supreme Court verdict acquitting Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death over blasphemy allegations.
Although, most of the routes that were closed a day earlier in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad have now been opened for traffic, some are still blocked.
In Karachi, traffic has been blocked at 15 places owing to the ongoing protests.
Teen Talwar, Star Gate at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Numaish, Liaquatabad No 10, Sohrab Goth, Korangi No 5, Bara Board, Baldia No 4, Ranchor Line, Shoe Market and New Karachi have been blocked for traffic.
Further, protests are also taking place at Hub River Road, Baldia, Maripur Road, Orangi Town No 5, Power House Chowrangi, Nagan Chowrangi, Teen Hatti and MT Khan Road.
Meanwhile, in Lahore traffic has been blocked at five places — Charring Cross at Mall Road, Data Darbar and Shahdara Chowk, Askari X and Bhatta Chowk.
Roads from Askari X and Bhatta Chowk to the Allama Iqbal International Airport have also been blocked leading to difficulties for passengers.
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Faizabad Interchange is also blocked.
Roads are also blocked at Dhoke Kala Khan, Tramri Chowk and Karal Chowk.
Further, traffic is blocked at routes leading to Taxila, Gujar Khan and Pir Sohawa.
According to a motorways spokesperson, Pindi Bhattian-Lahore, Pindi Bhattian-Faisalabad and Faisalabad-Gojra motorway are blocked for traffic.
In Peshawar, protests were being staged at the Ring Road and GT Road. 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.
Educational institutes closed
All educational institutes across Punjab will remain closed today in light of the traffic and law and order situation in the country, a spokesperson for the provincial government confirmed.
In Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, however, only the private educational institutes will remain closed, while all schools, colleges, and universities in Balochistan are expected to remain open as per schedule.
The Punjab government spokesperson added that intermediate exams slated for Thursday under all secondary education boards have been postponed and that a new date will be disclosed later.
The School Education Department, in light of the expected traffic situation today, has also announced a holiday, while the University of Engineering has deferred the exams that were scheduled for today.
Private educational institutes in all of KP’s districts, including Peshawar, are also to remain closed today.