RAWALPINDI - As many as 20 activists of religious parties, held by police during Faizabad operation, were released by authorities from Adiala Jail on Monday, sources informed The Nation.

Adiala Jail Superintendent Saeedullah Gondal have set a total of 20 activists free from Adiala Jail , they said.

The activists belonged to Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR), Tehreek-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwat and Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, sources added.

A large number of workers of religious parties received the released activists outside Adiala Jail . The workers brought the released activists to Faizabad Interchange where they met TLYR Ameer Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

Earlier, Director-General Rangers Punjab Major-General Azhar Navid gave Rs1,000 each to the released protesters as fare to return to their homes.

When contacted, Gondal confirmed the release of 20 protesters. He said that 300 more protesters were detained in the jail that too would be released soon. 

Meanwhile, residents of the twin cities heaved a sigh of relief after the agreement between the TLYR and the federal government was reached, and the life resumed after more than 21 days.

Transporters had given strike call for Monday to express solidarity with the religious parties’ workers, but soon after the announcement of agreement, they called back their call.

Two main roads were blocked by the protesters at Soan Bridge and Peshawar Road for the last two days but they opened the roads at 10am after the report of the agreement was telecast on the electronic media. Though, the transporters called off their strike, thin attendance was observed in government and private offices.

A majority of people could not reach their offices due to closure of roads as the roads opened only after 10am.

On the other hand, local traders associations also announced to end their strike call for Monday at 10am and asked members to open shops, markets and plazas immediately.

Local trade unions spokesman Navid Kanwal told media that they were monitoring the news about the meetings between the government and the protesters, and after seeing copy of the agreement, “we decided to open bazaars”.

“We gave the [strike] call for the safety of business outlets in the city as there were reports that the protesters may damage the shops. We are expressing solidarity with the protesters out of fear of violence otherwise we are facing problems and financial losses due to the closure of roads,” he said.

When contacted, Cantonment Traders Association President Zafar Qadri said that the traders had taken back the strike call after the issue was settled.

“We breathed a sigh of relief as for 21 days the problem of closure of roads had damaged business activity in the area,” he said.

Twin Cities Transporters Association President Raja Riaz told The Nation that after the peaceful end of the sit-in, there was no reason for a wheel jam strike.

“The situation changed in afternoon [compared to the morning] and the routine hustle and bustle started,” he said.

Riaz said that heavy vehicle owners were disturbed as many trucks got trapped in the road closure at GT Road and Peshawar Road.

Some private schools remained opened in various parts of Rawalpindi despite a two-day holiday notification issued by the Punjab government.