People of the twin cities refuse to participate in PTI’s sit-in

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has miserably failed in getting support of the citizens of the twin cities, as they did not participate in his sit-in on Monday.Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s (PAT) Chief Tahirul Qadri in their daily speeches ardently appealed to the people, who refused to become part of the sit-ins. The residents of the Rawalpindi and other tehsils kept distance from the sit-ins. The PTI secured a total of 590,761 votes in the 2013 general elections from nine seats of the National Assembly of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, but the people of Rawalpindi expressed their distrust in the policies of the party and did not take part in the protest. The citizens instead blamed the PTI and PAT for their difficulties in traveling due to lack of transport on the roads.According to the results of the 2013 elections, PTI candidates including Sadaqat Abbasi secured 47,210 votes from NA 50, Farhat Faheem Bhatti 39,842 votes from NA 51, Col (r) Ajmal Sabir 69,769 votes from NA 52, Ghulam Sarwar Khan 110,593 votes from NA 53, Hina Manzoor 68,687 votes from NA 54, joint candidate of PTI and AML Sheikh Rashid 88,627 votes from NA 55, Imran Khan 80,577 votes from NA 56, Asad Umar 48,073 votes from NA 48, and Ilyas Mehrban 57,383 votes from NA 49.Despite having nine PTI candidates in National Assembly and 14 candidates in provincial assembly and organisations of PTI at the level of wards, the union councils, tehsils and districts, millions of people living in Rawalpindi, Taxila, Murree, Kahuta, Kotli Satian, Gujar Khan, Kalar Syedan, and Potohar disassociated from the party’s march. Despite the sit-ins, the people of the twin cities and the surrounding areas continued with their daily lives as businesses, offices, and bazaars remained open. The busy areas of Sadar, Raja Bazaar, Commercial Market, Chaklala Scheme III, and Commercial Market in Rawalpindi, Taxila bazaar, Murree bazaar, and bazaars of other tehsils also remained open. The supply and sale of fruits and vegetables in the markets of the capital remained normal.NA 56 in Rawalpindi is the constituency of Imran Khan, who remained absent from the area after the election. The people of the constituency are angry that Imran is inaccessible to them. It is almost impossible for them to contact Imran for any development project in the constituency. The residents of NA 56 and the organisation of PTI have refused to even accept invitation for participation in the sit-in. Some residents of NA-56, while talking to the media personnel said that Imran did not visit the constituency after the election. They criticised the politics of Imran and said that if an MNA did not even know about his constituency, how could he bring change in the country. On the other hand, the schools and colleges in the capital were supposed to open from the 11th after two-months long vacations but the authorities concerned announced more holidays to save the students from any untoward situation due to the sit-ins. The authorities announced more vacations till the 24th due to the prolonged sit-in of the marchers and now the students would resume their study routine from the 25th. The students are perturbed over the prevailing situation and the parents are worried that their children would not get good grades in the examination due to continuous disruption in their study schedule. The education authorities were left with no choice but to close down the educational institutions as the participants of the long march made it clear that they would go for a prolonged sit-in.

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