The country was at a standstill on Friday as protests against Aasia Bibi’s acquittal continued for the third day.
Several parts of the country witnessed severe disruption as enraged protesters blocked roads and forced markets to shut down.
Protesters resorted to arson and vandalism in many parts of the country and damaged private and public property in various incidents.
All private and public educational institutions remained closed across major cities. Attendance at offices and other commercial enterprises also remained thin. The All-Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF) has announced the closure of all private schools across the country on Saturday.
Cellular services were suspended in four major cities. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had tweeted that “mobile services of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Gujranwala will be blocked from 8am till maghrib”.
Cell phone services in Lahore, Islamabad and other cities were restored at 6pm.
Hospitals are also suffering from staff shortages. Many areas of Karachi are also without water as protesters stopped water tankers from reaching their destinations.
Due to the ongoing protests, garbage collection has been affected and large piles of garbage can be seen on many roads.
Traffic situation in major cities
All routes leading to Teen Talwar in Karachi were blocked. Jauhar Chowrangi and Ghareebabad are also affected and normal traffic has been suspended in the area. Social media users reported that PIDC intersection was also blocked for traffic.
Karachi traffic police tweeted that protests are being staged in various parts of the city including Mango Pir, Gagar Patak and Mirza Adam road.
Protests at Lasbela and Boat Basin have concluded.
The police in the federal capital tweeted that the Expressway has been blocked from Koral to Khanna. Jinnah Avenue has also been closed from Kulsoom Plaza to Expressway.
In Lahore, roads are reportedly blocked at Charring Cross, Data Darbar, Shahdara Chowk, Kalma Chowk, Bhatta Chowk and Ferozepur Road.
Roads leading to Muridke, Nathe Khalsa, Paka Meel and Mohlanwal have also been blocked.