Islamist group to call off protests after Pakistan law minister resigns

The group’s spokesman said that th ePakistan government has agreed to its demands.

world Updated: Nov 27, 2017 10:52 IST
Reuters, Islamabad
Pakistan,Islamist protest,Islamabad
Pakistani protesters from the Tehreek-i-Labaik Yah Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLYRAP) religious group shout religious slogans during a protest in Islamabad on November 26, 2017.(AFP Photo)

A Pakistani hardline Islamist group whose supporters clashed with police over the weekend is to call off its weeks-long protest after the government agreed to its demands and the law minister resigned, the group’s spokesman said on Monday.

Seven people were killed and 200 wounded in the clashes after a police bid to disperse the protesters failed on Saturday, sparking instead demonstrations in other major cites nationwide.

“Our main demand has been accepted,” Ejaz Ashrafi, spokesman of the Tahreek-e-Labaik group, told Reuters. “Government will announce the law minister’s resignation and we will end our sit-in today.”

Law minister Zahid Hamid has resigned on Monday. Shipping containers that police had used to block off the main protest site were being removed, media said.

The government on Saturday called in Pakistan’s powerful military to tackle the protests after the police operation failed, but there was no sign of troops around the protest camps on Sunday.

For the past two weeks, activists of Tehreek-e-Labaik blocked the main road into the capital, Islamabad, in a protest that blamed the law minister, Zahid Hamid, for changing the wording in an electoral oath.

The party says the words “I believe”, used to replace the clause “I solemnly swear” in a proclamation of Mohammad as the religion’s last prophet amount to blasphemy.

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 09:24 IST