Thousands of workers of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) left Kamoke and neared Gujranwala city on Thursday on way to Islamabad.
Some 4,000 TLP workers travelled on the Grand Truck Road in large trucks and buses along with their supplies, as stick-wielding activists of the group guarded the procession from all sides.
The rally was expected to continue its journey towards Islamabad after crossing the Qila Chand bypass.
The TLP demonstrators have blocked the GT Road in Gujranwala district from both sides since Wednesday, making the lives of the area residents miserable. From Kamoke tehsil to Jhelum, cellular services have been suspended for 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Rangers and police took positions near the Chenab River and Wazirabad border. Security officials plan to let the procession pass Gujranwala city and stop it near Wazirabad, according to police sources.
At a high-level meeting held to review the security situation, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar directed officials to “take every step possible” to establish peace in the province, according to a statement.
He said nobody could be allowed to disturb people’s daily lives, stressing that “the protection of people’s lives and properties is the state’s foremost responsibility.”
RAILWAYS SERVICE SUSPENDED: In view of the situation caused by the TLP rally, the Pakistan Railways announced that three trains between Lahore and Rawalpindi — Subak Kharam, Islamabad Express and Rawal Express — would remain suspended on Thursday for both inbound and outbound services.
The Peshawar-Quetta Jaffar Express will also be suspended for the Peshawar-Lahore leg today, while the Green Line will remain suspended between Lahore and Rawalpindi.
All other trains will function according to their schedule and route, a PR spokesperson said.