The ill planning of the Islamabad city administration caused acute nuisance for the residents of the city on Thursday, when all the roads leading to the city’s busiest sector remained blocked for more than 6 hours because of a mass gathering of the activists of banned sectarian outfit. The city administration, while ignoring the locals and city’s business community, aphetically allowed the clerics belonging to banned Sipah-e-Sahabha Pakistan to hold ‘Isthikam Pakistan and Shuada-e-Islam Conference’ to mark the death anniversary of organisation’s head Maulana Azam Tariq in Sector-G/6.
Earlier, the conference was scheduled to be held at the Parade Ground, near Parliament House but the venue was changed for security reasons. The other day, however, the government, instead of asking the demonstration’s organisers to choose a relatively secluded place, allowed them to hold the event at the Hockey Ground near Abpara Market. All roads leading to Aabpara remained blocked and people had to cover long distances to reach Aabpara. The main Municipal Road was also blocked from Melody Market while Sohrwardri Road was blocked from the 7th Avenue and all vehicles were diverted to the Kashmir Highway.
Owing to heavy congestions on alternative roads, the massive traffic jams were witnessed at Melody Market and at the interjection of Serena Hotel, during the schools’ closing hours. The school buses and vans remained stuck in traffic owing to which students and parents underwent a huge agony. “What a nonsense is this, oblivious of the people’s suffering, the city administrators has allowed them to hold an event in a busy neighbourhood. If that gathering was of such importance, it could have been held at some other place, like Sector-H/11,” said furious Ali Ramzan, a motorist who was stranded in traffic jam at Melody Market.
During a survey of Sector-G/6 by Pakistan Today, it was observed that all the streets leading to Aabpara and Lal Mosque had also been closed. “Earlier, I used to get a van from outside my office, but today- thanks to the city’s ill planners, I had to walk all the way from the Melody Market to the Kashmir Highway to get a van,” said Raza Khan, a peon who works in the CDA inquiry office situated in G/6. The Thursday’s gathering not only became a source of inconvenient for the residents of G/6, it also badly affected the people who have to travel through the neighbourhood for their daily work in various offices situated near Aabpara and Melody markets. The commuters from Rawalpindi had to suffer as well for their daily dependence on Municipal and Sohrwardri roads. Talking to Pakistan Today, the traders at the Aabpara Market also expressed their anger against the city’s managers because the Thursday’s event affected their business as well.