Islamabad - As participants of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) are free to do anything in the Red Zone, police pickets and obstacles placed all over Islamabad have made the lives of general people miserable as they go through several check points to prove their identity.

 Since the major arteries of Islamabad have been closed for traffic due to work on the multi-billion under-construction Metro Bus Service, roads that are open for traffic have either been closed by placing containers or guarded by police that continue to stop motorists and passengers in search of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters.

 Saleh Chishti, 44 complained Punjab police stopped his car near Kulsoom Interchange and interrogated him for 10 minutes on suspicion of being a political worker. “They [police] asked me to show my identity card and asked me about my profession. This is harassment even if such treatment is meted out to political workers,” he said.

 The government in a futile attempt to stop political activists from entering Red Zone has deployed massive force of Punjab police in every nook and corner of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The police intercept any motorist they suspect to be a potential political supporter.

 The presence of large number of stick-wielding police in commercial markets have kept shoppers at bay from shopping places due to sense of insecurity or possible showdown between police and protesters.

 Those passengers who have no affiliation with any political party have to suffer police check up and are often observed explaining their neutrality.

“Police stopped me along with my family and asked me to prove that we are not going towards D chowk,” said Jamal Khan who was actually intending to shop in Jinnah Super.

 The Nation has learnt that police get harsher with everybody soon after the Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief finishes his address to supporters and participants start leaving the venue. “This is the time when police stops everybody that comes towards Rawalpindi. I think police should be directed not to harass every citizen,” Fawad Ali Shah, who works in a private company in Islamabad, said.

 The massive deployment of police has also discouraged residents of Rawalpindi-Islamabad from visiting public parks at weekends particularly the frequently visited spots like Rawal Dam and Rawal Lake View Park.

 In fact the residents have found an alternate entertainment in D chowk where participants not only register their protest against the government but can also dance to the loud music that has become hallmark of the 37-day long Azadi March.

 Junaid Mughal, who collects parking fee at Rawal Lake View Park, told The Nation Saturday that there was a drastic decline in number of visitors to the park. “I am sure that administrators of park have been suffering heavy losses as only few visitors could be found here,” he added.

 The worst suffering people due to the lingering sit-ins at Constitution Avenue are the bike riders who are blindly being stopped by police without discrimination and their bikes are booked for not having registration documents.

 A police official, however, said they were not interested in checking everybody but only those whom they suspect to be wrongdoers adding miscreants could also penetrate into the capital in the guise of political activists.