l On Wednesday life in the capital started to normalise. Roads were dotted with vehicles and markets saw an increase in visits by local residents.
Muhammad Khan, a trader in G-9 Markaz, told Dawn: “For the last two days just a few customers had visited my shop. Most people had stored edible items in their homes and they were not coming out of the houses. I got bored sitting here.”
Maqbool Ahmed, a resident of federal capital, commented that life has to go on. “People have no choice but to return to their routine activities,” he said.
l The Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) has notified that all educational institutes be opened on Thursday (today) after three days.
Media coordinator of CAD Muhammad Saleh said that there is no threat to the students of the federal capital so they should start studying.
On the other hand, most universities of the federal capital opened on Wednesday and it was also announced that exams will be held in Quaid-i-Azam University, International Islamic University Islamabad and National University of Science and Technology on Thursday.
l D-Chowk had all the makings of a mela: food vendors were doing roaring business selling curry, while TMQ workers distributed free roti and naan close to the venue. For a few though, that was not enough.
For others, organisers had made inadequate arrangements. “There is no water, there is not a drop to drink,” said Maqbool Hussain, a participant at the venue.
“I am waiting for this march to be over quickly as I am feeling tired and even bored,” said Abdul Raheem, a middle-aged man from DI Khan. “I want to go home. I was brought by TMQ from D.I. Khan, and I will go back on their bus,” he added.
l The Islamabad police and re-enforcements from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab could be seen napping on the greenbelts of Jinnah Avenue and Atta Turk Avenue.
“We are waiting for orders from the government for the last three days. At the moment, we have been asked to remain on stand-by,” said a senior ranking police official.
On the other hand, the crowds seemed to have warmed up to the security personnel: whenever a helicopter hovered above the site, the crowd would wave at it together.
l The roundabout by 6:30pm was visibly short of bushes and trees that had been felled by the rally participants for small bonfires to keep warm.
Newly planted saplings had been trampled on as the green belts were turned into tent pitches.
l On its part, the Capital Development Authority could see the damage being done to the green environs, but could do nothing.
“We are concerned but there is a sit-in by marchers and the local administration is managing it. We will act once the event is over. The option we are left with is to plant few new trees on the greenbelt of Fazl-i-Haq Road and on Jinnah Avenue,” the spokesman for the civic agency told Dawn.
Also contributed by Ikram Junaidi