Published: Sun, November 19, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Islamabad sit-in: Interior Minister directs admin to extend deadline

Islamabad sit-in: Interior Minister directs admin to extend deadline

The IHC had also summoned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), chief commissioner and deputy commissioner yesterday to appear in person along with a report revealing "what preventive measures were taken to lead the protestors/sit-in to a designated place known as "Parade Ground". Therefore, he said now there was no justification for any sit-in to protest on this issue.

A heavy contingent of Islamabad Police, Frontier Corps and Rangers personnel arrived on Saturday morning at the Faizabad, equipped with tear gas and shell guns to disperse the crowd that have been protesting since 12 days at the interchange.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui had directed the authorities to vacate the key route from the protesters by 10am Saturday (tomorrow).

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has repeatedly criticised political rival PTI for staging an anti-government demonstration at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping was expected to visit Islamabad to finalise the $55 billion CPEC-linked projects in 2014.

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In light of Thursday's development, Iqbal said that the religious groups' protest ─ which has been on-going since November 8 ─ is no longer justified.

Meanwhile, Pir of Golra Sharif Syed Ghulam Nizam Uddin Jami visited the protest site and held talks with Allam Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri.

He added that it was a legal obligation on the protestors to adhere to the orders of the Islamabad High Court, which had a day earlier directed the capital administration to clear the Faizabad Interchange within 24 hours. He had also added that the protesters were carrying weapons.

Acting upon the court-set deadline, the district administration had set a 10PM target on Friday for protesters to end the sit-in, which, as it turns out, was ignored.

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Any citizen who wishes to exercise their right to freedom of speech must not inconvenience other citizens, the court said.

The TLY had occupied the Faizabad Bridge which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road, both of which are the busiest roads in the twin cities.

Justice Siddiqui maintained that the administration failed to play its due role in resolving the crisis and merely watched the spectacle unfold as a "cricket spectator".

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal earlier spoke over the ongoing protest in Islamabad and said that there is no need to continue the protest as clause pertaining to Khatam-e-Nabuwat (Finality of Prophethood) has been restored to its original form.

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Fed up with the public response in the twin cities, the cold response by federal government, and the rain which started Tuesday, the protesting clerics took to petitioning the IHC for "execution" of their demands.

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