MUZAFFARABAD: The capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and other areas in Bagh, Neelum and Hattian Bala are facing an acute shortage of essential commodities like vegetables, frozen food items, dairy products and fresh fruits due to the marches in Islamabad.
The main road connecting the country’s capital with AJK has been closed near Bharakahu and has hampered all kind of vehicular traffic to the region.
The closure of the vital road link has made it difficult for people to procure essential commodities in three districts of AJK.
“Since morning I have been running from pillar to post to get fuel for my car as I had to inquire about the health of an ailing relative admitted at Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences but could not get any petrol to reach the hospital,” said Farooq Qadri, a businessman.
He said people in AJK and other areas have been suffering a lot since the last four days owing to the ‘revolutionary’ marches in Islamabad and could not reach the capital for their business-related work.
Moreover, seriously ill patients in Muzaffarabad and Neelum have to travel to Rawalpindi via Mansehra to reach hospitals for treatment.
The three main fuel stations of Muzaffarabad were without petrol as tankers have not been allowed to cross Murree Road through Bharakahu as Islamabad Police have blocked the road with containers.
The traders’ community has appealed to both Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan to end their marches and settle all issues through dialogue as their protests are having an adverse impact on business.
“This is the peak wedding season but due to the situation in Islamabad and subsequent lack of essentials we have had to cancel several orders as we were unable to deliver on time,” said Sadiq Hussain, a trader at Madina market.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th,2014.