The American embassy in Islamabad on Friday issued security alert message to its citizens in Pakistan in view of the coming long-march on the Pakistani capital by a religious leader.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, leader of Minhaj-ul-Quran, has planned the long-march and a sit-in outside the parliament building on January 14 to press for electoral reforms.
“This security message alerts U.S. citizens about the possibility of upcoming demonstrations January 13-14 between Lahore and Islamabad and in the Islamabad area,” the U.S. embassy said.
In the message posted on the embassy’s website said that the march participants are expected to gather in the Model Town area of Lahore near the Minhaj-ul-Qijran at 9:00 am on Sunday, January 13, and proceed towards Islamabad along the Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road).
“We urge U.S. citizens to avoid the Lahore and Islamabad demonstration sites during this period. If travel is unavoidable, U.S. citizens should expect significant delays when traveling through these areas and along the G.T. Road and the Islamabad-Lahore motorway”.
The alert advised all U.S. citizens to stay clear of all published procession routes, keep a low profile, and avoid large gatherings.
“The resulting traffic might cause significant travel delays along other major thoroughfares throughout Lahore as marchers join the procession and regular traffic is rerouted,” it said.
Public Services at U.S. Embassy Suspended: Public services at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad will be temporarily suspended on Monday, January 14, due to these demonstrations.
The Embassy will continue to make every effort to provide only emergency services to U.S. citizens.
The embassy said that during this event, there will be a large number of gatherings, processions, and demonstrations between Islamabad and Lahore along the G.T. Road and in the city of Islamabad.
“The U.S. Embassy expects a heightened police and security force presence in and around the city of Islamabad, especially in the downtown area and the area adjacent to the Diplomatic Enclave. The Embassy expects travel in and out of the downtown area to be restricted or prohibited, and for traffic to be blocked, restricted, or rerouted in other portions of the city”.