ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri s flight has been diverted towoards Lahore.
According to Emirates Airline website, flight EK612 has been diverted from Islamabad towards Lahore and will land around 9:35 at the main terminal of the Allama Iqbal International Airport.
Qadri’s flight was expected to land at the Benazir International Airport at 8:30am but the data showed airplane circulating over Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The government has imposed Section 144 in Rawalpindi prohibiting the gathering of more than four persons at a place and blocked all routes to and from Islamabad airport, even as PAT supporters hold protests in support of Dr Qadri in various cities.
Meanwhile, delegations of political parties including Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also tried to reach airport to welcome Tahirul Qadri but they were barred from entering the airport premises.
Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed was also denied entry into the airport.
Due to security fears, entry and exit points in the twin cities (Islamabad and Rawalpindi) have been sealed by placing containers on the roads whereas cellular services will remain suspended till 2:00pm today.
Mobile services will remain suspended on Airport Road, Grassy Lane and Askari-8 areas.
On the other hand, motorway leading towards Islamabad has also been closed for traffic while Faizabad Interchange was blocked with containers. Several roads including Murree Road and Jehlum Road were blocked to stop Tahirul Qadri’s supporters from reaching the airport.
Ealier, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesperson claimed that flight operations at Islamabad airport would continue as per schedule. None of the flight will diverted. Agitated workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) also clashed with police in Faizabad, Koral Chowk and different areas of the twin cities.
Qadri’s supporters pelted stones at the policemen, injuring 28 in different areas. 13 cops were shifted to Poly Clinic and 11 were shifted to District Headquarter Hospital. Meanwhile, police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the protestors.
Interior Ministry said that policemen have not been allowed to use arms even if they are attacked by the PAT workers.