Dead, 150 Injured After Violent Clashes Between Forces And Islamist Protesters

Dianna Christensen
November 26, 2017

The injured, including 93 security personnel, have been taken to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad.

Islamabad Police launched a clearance operation against protesters from the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan who have camped at the Faizabad interchange for weeks demanding the resignation of Pakistan's law minister, Zahid Hamid, for changes made about Khatm-i-Nabuwwat or finality of prophethood oath in the Elections Act 2017 passed in September.

News of the police intervention spread quickly, prompting sympathizers in cities round the country to take to the streets in a show solidarity with the Islamabad protesters. "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. "[There were] several thousands of agitators in some locations of the city, where they lit up branches to the block the roads", she said.

The Federal Minister for Interior chaired a high-level meeting in the presence of Islamabad Chief Commissioner, Inspector General (IG), SSP and Deputy Commissioner, Top security officers from police as well as senior officials of Rawalpindi and Islamabad administrations were present in the discussion. However, it will unfair not to appreciate the efforts of religious scholars including Pir of Golra Sharif who came forward to end the stalemate peacefully but the organisers of the protestors regretfully did not hear to them as well.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters in a message on Saturday night that the government had "requisitioned" the military assistance "for law and order duty according to the constitution".

Dozens of people were injured in Saturday's clashes, including many police, according to reports from hospitals. Dr. Mohammad Altaf Hussain, at Islamabad main hospital said 86 people were brought from the rally with minor injuries and respiratory problems. Some protesters can be seen throwing stones at police.

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The smell of tear gas hung heavy in the air, hours after the last shell had been fired from the day's onslaught.

Later in the morning, seminary students from Rawalpindi reinforced the protesters who pushed back police and Frontier Constabulary forces.

The interior minister also said that the government was willing to talk with protestors. They also ransacked a newly built metro bus terminal near the venue.

State television stations reported that security forces suspended the operation for some time.

Around 150 protesters were arrested since the clashes erupted, the authorities said.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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