Pakistan calls in army as Islamabad protests turn violent


Pakistan calls in army as Islamabad protests turn violent

Scores of protesters also came out on the roads in various cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and other cities of Punjab, and in the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, to protest the crackdown in Islamabad.

State television stations reported that security forces had temporarily suspended their operations.

Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had given protesters around Islamabad until last Thursday to disperse, but they continued their demonstration.

The protestors demand that Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid step down for his alleged role in a recent amendment which now stands withdrawn.

The injured, including 93 security personnel, have been taken to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad. "Suggested to handle Islamabad Dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest and cohesion", Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a tweet referring to the conversation between General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

The Pakistani government has blocked social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube amid the ongoing operation against protesters.

At least one person was killed and over 200 injured after police moved in to break "blasphemy" protests.

. Nine people were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, doctors said. Dr. Mohammad Altaf Hussain, at Islamabad's main hospital, said 186 people were brought from the rally with minor injuries and respiratory problems.

According to reports, dozens of protesters have been detained.

"The administration is taking action under court order but still we are open for talks with them", he said, referring to the protesters.

Later in the day, security forces appeared to face difficulty clearing the crucial intersection as more and more supporters joined protesters at the site, a bridge between the capital and Rawalpindi.

Faizabad sit-in was causing a chaotic situation in the capital city. "They have fired teargas shells (at security forces), they also cut the fibre-optic cables of cameras monitoring their protest.They have inside information and resources that are being used against the state", he told DawnNews.

Rizvi, who leads the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah, is demanding the resignation of Pakistan's law minister, Zahid Hamid.

Meanwhile, protesters set on fire entrance gate of the house of former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.



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