Pakistan govt buckles as religious group lays siege to Islamabad
The talks offer came after a clash on Tuesday between protesters and police officials left at least six law enforcers, including a station house officer, severely injured.world Updated: Nov 15, 2017 20:03 IST
Eating humble pie, the Pakistan government has initiated talks with representatives of the Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah, a newly formed religious group that brought the federal capital to a near standstill by staging a sit-in at one of the most important traffic intersections for the past ten days.
The bone of contention is that religious groups, led by Tehreek Labaik Yah Rasool Allah and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan, are demanding the removal of law minister Zahid Hamid and calling for an inquiry against him over a recent legislation that omitted a reference to the Prophet Mohammed. The omission was later reversed by the government.
The talks offer came after a clash on Tuesday between protesters and police officials left at least six law enforcers, including a station house officer, severely injured. The clashes began when the government deployed thousands of law enforcement officials to check the activities of the group that began stopping traffic on key roads and checking motorists, ostensibly for security reasons.
The rally’s organisers made announcements that the protestors were going to be attacked by police. On their call, hundreds of men armed with sticks and iron rods readied themselves for a clash.
As police officials also took position in an indication that they wanted the protesters to lift their siege of Islamabad, a clash erupted in which police official Qasim Khan and two policemen were injured. More than two dozen protesters were arrested as police took advantage of rainfall that forced the protesters to disperse.
First Published: Nov 15, 2017 19:17 IST