Saturday , 24 March 2018

Transport services suspended between Faisalabad, Islamabad ahead of PTI’s Nov 30 rally


FAISALABAD: A day ahead of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s ‘decisive’ rally in Islamabad, transporters in Faisalabad refused to book passengers for Islamabad.

There are four leading transport services from Faisalabad to Islamabad and none of them are taking bookings. Interestingly, the owner of the biggest fleet of buses on the Faisalabad-Islamabad route is Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Asim Nazeer.

Daewoo and other leading transport services told The Express Tribune that services between Islamabad and Faisalabad have been temporarily suspended today (Saturday) owing to ‘technical reasons.’

Similarly, wagon services between both the cities are also suspended.

Transporters alleged they have been threatened that punitive actions would be taken if any vehicle of any company was found heading towards Islamabad.

“The road transport authorities and traffic police have threatened against cancellation of routes of buses and wagons as well as impounding our vehicles,” Ajmal Cheema a transporter said.

While, Skyway Transport incharge said, “If we do not obey their orders, they will not only impose heavy fines but will also cancel the route permits of our vehicles permanently.”

At Faisalabad interchange and other routes leading to Islamabad, police are checking all commercial vehicles and not allowing movement towards the federal capital.

“I want to go to Islamabad as my first cousin is seriously ill. But when I reached Faisalabad, I was told that all transport services to Islamabad have been suspended due to PTI’s rally,” Abdur Rehman, a traveler from Toba Tek Singh, told The Express Tribune.

“We cannot afford to travel to Islamabad through rent a car. It is tussle between a political party and the government but citizens are suffering and being forcibly deprived of their right to free,” Ikhtiar Aalam, who along with his family of 10 was stranded at the station, said.

Dr Asad Muazzam, a PTI coordinator, alleged the police and administration have resorted to a number of tactics to prevent PTI workers and activists from participating in the rally on November 30.

However, Regional Transport Authority Secretary Tariq Chaudhary denied issuing any order for suspension of transport services between the two countries.

“As per my information, fearing damages to buses by a group of a political party who intend to force the transporters to book their vehicles for an indefinite period, the transporters are reluctant to carry them to Islamabad,” Chaudhry said