Pak crisis LIVE: Protesters storm PTV news channel headquarters, forcibly enter Secretariat

The military showed support for democracy but also expressed displeasure over Saturday night’s violence.

By: Reuters | Islamabad | Updated: September 1, 2014 1:30 pm
pak-L Pakistani protesters help carry their injured colleague to an ambulance during a clashes near prime minister’s home in Islamabad. (source: AP)

Pakistani protesters wielding sticks and throwing stones clashed with police in the centre of the capital Islamabad on Monday after weeks of demonstrations demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation turned violent over the weekend.

1.20 pm: Pakistan’s PTV channel returns to air after the army and paramilitary Rangers cleared its headquarters of protesters and put the building under protection.

12.16 pm: Fresh clashes erupt between police and anti-government protesters who forcibly enter Secretariat in Islamabad after breaking its gate.

12.05 pm: Pakistan’s national PTV channel and its English-language PTV World service are taken off the air after protesters stormed its headquarters in central Islamabad. “They have stormed the PTV office,” a news anchor said just before the screen went blank. “PTV staff performing their journalistic duties are being beaten up.”

11.00 am: Pakistani protesters push closer to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s house, clash with retreating police.

10.45 am: Despite heavy rain, crowds of protesters tried to break through police lines to push their way to the prime minister’s residence. Police responded by firing teargas.

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Protesters led by Imran Khan, a renowned cricketer before entering politics, and fiery cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, erupted last month and descended into deadly confrontation on Saturday, with at least three people killed in clashes with police.

In a nation where power has often changed hands through military coups rather than elections, the army is bound to play a key role in how the conflict unfolds but it has not directly intervened, apart from talking to the protagonists and calling on them to show restraint.

Sharif, who swept to office last year in Pakistan’s first democratic transition of power, has refused to resign. He is due to address both houses of parliament on Tuesday in an apparent effort to show that he is firmly in control.

Khan, who has refused to hold negotiations and says he would not call off protests until Sharif resigns, has called on his supporters to keep fighting.

In a warning to police, the military said any further use of force to resolve an escalating political crisis would only worsen the situation. But it has also said the crisis had to be solved through talks, in a clear message to the protest leaders.

As protesters charged towards police lines in the so-called Red zone – home to the prime minister’s house, parliament and many foreign embassies – security forces could be seen retreating, with police huddled in groups and avoiding direct confrontation.

Reflecting concern about security in the capital, all schools were closed on Monday, the start of a new academic year.

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  1. A
    afzu
    Sep 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    Liby, Syria, Iraq are in pieces, ? From which RSS center you get study and news
    Reply
    1. A
      afzu
      Sep 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm
      So Pak is ant and India is elephant. I read in a report that stan have better weapons than India, more nuclear bombs than India, and also I see Times of India report that India have only 20 days ammunition to fight and I also read report that stan bombed on LOC more than that of 1971 war. Anyhow I wish there should be no war and both countries live peacefully.
      Reply
      1. B
        BN Anand
        Sep 1, 2014 at 12:55 pm
        Has Arab Spring arrived in stan too? Islamabad scenes remind one of the scenes of Tahrir Square mobs in Egypt. In the end, after a thoughtful introspection, the stanis will realise that after all their love for anarchy and Talibans is all responsible for this present state of anarchy prevailing in the streets of Karachi and Islamabad.
        Reply
        1. J
          James Bond
          Sep 1, 2014 at 10:25 am
          It was great that Pak had civilian govt so long!
          Reply
          1. H
            Hassan
            Sep 1, 2014 at 8:34 pm
            PAK Army trying its best to oust a democratically elected government. Why? Because PM Nawaz Sharif want peace with India, better economic ties with the rest of the world.
            Reply
            1. M
              Muqbool
              Sep 1, 2014 at 7:24 am
              Surely the w point of the recent democratic elections was to follow the newly elected Prime Minister?
              Reply
              1. V
                VenkatBhat
                Sep 1, 2014 at 11:24 am
                It is a very sad news coming from stan. The threat created by two groups Imran Khan and Kahdri will prove to be a historic ber within a week. Army is waiting to take over and the utterances Of Mr Musharaff threatening India as stan a nuclear is a reminder to that. Mr Musharaff might forgot that a mouse can not threaten an elephant. He forget kargil his ill consumed act. One can understand Mr kadri as he can not think beyond a certain limit but Mr Imran Khan is really committed a historic ber and the common people of stan never forget his acts
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sphinx
                  Sep 1, 2014 at 7:54 am
                  Like Libya, Syria or Iraq we will have 2 pieces of stan soon - Punjab & Rest of Pak.
                  Reply
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