Major parks in Rawalpindi wear a desolated look for the last one week due to the security measures put in place in anticipation of the intended long march and sit-in of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
The placement of containers on Murree Road has prevented the public from visiting the famed Allama Iqbal Park as well as the Children Park and the Liaquat Bagh.
Owing to this, recreational spots far away from Murree Road are attracting attention from visitors, who have been thronging around 54 big and small parks such as Ayub Park, Jinnah Park, Roomi Park and sightseeing sites like the Patriata Park and Murree.
While the parks accessed through Murree Road stand empty for the last nine days, other parks are buzzing with activity from morning till night.
Meanwhile, families have also been driving to Murree, the popular summer destination that generally receives few visitors these days.
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Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Chairman Asif Mehmood said that the usual hubbub seen in parks on Murree Road will automatically resume once the obstructions were removed.
Mehmood said that while families living nearby still visit the desolated parks on foot, the current visitors are just a trickle as compared to the usual rush witnessed in these spots.
Moreover, kiosks in the parks on Murree Road have been suffering financially owing to the lack of customers.
Two business owners including Asghar Mehmood and Nasir Khan said that sales were almost non-existent due to the closure of roads and that they are awaiting the resumption of normalcy impatiently.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2021.