Pakistan govt calls in army to clear blockade

by Garry Watts November 26, 2017, 0:24
Pakistan govt calls in army to clear blockade

Enraged protesters attacked the house of Law Minister Zahid Hamid here on Saturday.

They alleged the action undermined Islamic beliefs and linked it to blasphemy.

Endorsing the extremist tactics of protesters, he said it was right of the people to protest against the government's wrong policy regarding Khatm-e-Nabuwwat law, as he urged the apex court to take notice of the change in the law.

The siege played havoc with the more than half million commuters who daily travel between Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

On Friday, the Islamabad High Court ordered interior minister Ahsan Iqbal to appear in court next week and explain why he should not be charged with contempt for his failure to act, according to a court order issued by judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.

Due to operation in Islamabad people in Lahore are coming out on the roads.

Security forces launched on Saturday a crackdown on religious protesters camping at Faizabad Intersection in Islamabad since November 8. Reports say scores of protesters and police personnel have been injured in the clashes. The list of those injured includes 111 police or other security forces, Dr. Tahir Nadeem, a physician at Pakistani Institute of Medical Services told Al Jazeera.

The protesters in retaliation are throwing stones at the security men.

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The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority told TV channels not to broadcast footage of the operation and took all channels off air. Social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were also blocked in various parts of the country. "The government is also taking measures to ease the movement of the residents of the twin cities", he said while talking to media in Islamabad.

The lawmaker from NA-133 (Sheikhupura) was in the Batti Chowk area to negotiate with the protesters, Express News reported.

The operation was started on order of Prime Minister as Interior Minister presented him whole situation.

"Why they did it (contacted India), we are looking into it".

Liaqat Baloch also jumped in to register his protest against the use of violence by the state on the protesters.

The operation was commenced on court orders following the expiry of the midnight deadline set by the district administration.

Sindh MYC President Asadullah Bhutto in a statement said that people's routine lives had come to a halt, owing to violent incidents as the protest had been expanded throughout the country from Islamabad.

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