Thousands of people continue to participate in the so-call "Azadi March" anti-government protest in Islamabad as of Tuesday, November 5. The sit-in demonstration is being led by the religious group Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), which is demanding that Prime Minister Imran Khan resign. On Monday, November 4, JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman met with opposition politicians and agreed to continue the protest after Prime Minister Khan refused to accept a 48-hour ultimatum to step down. Talks between Khan's administration and political opposition leaders are expected to continue on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing sit-in.
Significant traffic disruptions were reported in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Tuesday morning (local time) due to the protest and heightened security measures. Police officials in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) have placed shipping containers around Sector H-9 to prevent protesters from leaving the designated protest area. Increased security measures are also in place around the government and diplomatic sectors of the ICT as a precaution. Demonstrations are expected to continue over the near term and may occur with little warning. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Around 35,000 people marched into Islamabad on Friday, November 1, to demand Prime Minister Khan’s resignation. The JUI-F is accusing Khan of economic mismanagement and alleged election rigging. The country's two main opposition parties, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People's Party, have supported the JUI-F's protest against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
Individuals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public gatherings as a precaution, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, budget additional time for travel, anticipate transportation and business disruptions near protest sites and a heightened security presence.
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