Pakistan Army was roped in by the government to restore peace and normalcy in Islamabad after the protest turned violent during the day, newspaper Dawn reported. Police and paramilitary forces came down heavily upon protestors who had blocked the entry point to the city for around 20 days.
The ensuing violence left one policeman dead and over 200 others injured and triggered violent demonstrations in other cities. The forces battled with the activists of Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST) who torched vehicles and attacked the houses of political leaders.
The protestors who had been gathering for around three weeks now demanded the removal of Law Minister Zahid Hamid for introducing changes in a law related to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (finality of prophethood) oath in the Elections Act 2017.
Pakistan protest LIVE updates:
1: 00 am: Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal while talking to Reuters cited the protests as conspiracy to weaken the government. He was quoted as saying, “I have to say with regret that a political party that is giving its message to people based on a very sacred belief is being used in the conspiracy that is aimed at spreading anarchy in the country.”
12:30 am: The live coverage of the operation to end the Faizabad sit-in was prohibited by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, Dawn reported. Following the orders, most private news channels have been taken off-air in Islamabad and other parts of the country.
12:15 am: As per a report in news agency AP, six activists have been killed, however, Pakistani police have denied any killings.
11:55 pm: According to Dawn, at least 150 protesters have been arrested.
11:40 pm: As per a report in Dawn, over 200 people have been injured across Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
10:20 pm: According to local news reports, over 100 people have been injured in violent clashes which include personnel of paramilitary forces as well.
10:18 pm: Pakistan Army chief had advised PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to handle the protests peacefully and avoid violence from both side.
10:11 pm: According to Dawn, the Army will be deployed in various parts of Islamabad to secure the establishments of the judiciary, Parliament, President’s house, PM house, foreign missions, foreign office and other important installations in the capital.
10:08 pm: Marriyum Aurangzeb, Pakistan, Minister of State, Information and Broadcasting said that Islamabad Administration is responsible to ensure enforcement of Islamabad High Court Order to restore public convenience in Faizabad area.
10:03 pm: The protests which began in Islamabad have spread across the country including the port city of Karachi.
10:01 pm: Popular social media websites have been blocked, along with a blockade on TV broadcast of the incident. TV coverage has been cut off and private channels are off Air under media regulations in the country.
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