Curfew lifted in Rawalpindi after days of unrest
The curfew imposed in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi after sectarian clashes left at least 10 people dead was lifted on Monday, giving respite to the common man.
Islamabad: The curfew imposed in the Pakistani garrison city of Rawalpindi after sectarian clashes left at least 10 people dead was lifted today, giving respite to the common man.
The city administration removed blockades from the roads after the end of the curfew and people came out of their houses as they began gathering around shops to buy foodstuff and other necessities.
Residents who were stuck outside the city also flocked in after the sealed entry and exit points of Rawalpindi were opened.
The decision to lift the curfew was taken in a meeting chaired by District Coordination Officer Sajid Zafar Dull.
However, Section 144 of Criminal Penal Code will stay in force prohibiting assembly of five or more people in any area of the city as a precautionary measure until further orders.
The city remained under curfew for two days which had crippled routine life creating a scarcity of food and other essential goods. All private schools in the city announced a holiday whereas government schools were resuming their routine today.
The army, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies would remain on high alert to handle any untoward situation.
The army was called in to take control of the city and curfew was imposed in Rawalpindi on Friday after ten people were killed and 44 others injured in clashes that started when a Shia procession was passing through Raja Bazar.
The Shias were observing Ashura, which commemorates the death of Prophet Mohammed`s grandson.
The lifting of curfew was welcomed by residents.
Many shopkeepers, who were running low on supplies, had resorted to black-marketing. A 20 kilogramme bag of flour sold for Rs 1000 and eggs for Rs 25 each during the curfew, reports said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has constituted a high-level Fact Finding Committee. The committee will point out any administrative and security lapse and negligence.
The committee will also identify those responsible for dereliction of duty or laxity and propose measures for checking such incidents in the future and submit its report to the chief minister within seven days.
The government has already constituted a judicial commission under the chair of Lahore High Court judge Justice Mamoon Hussain.