Pakistani Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Protesters in Islamabad

Kristopher Drake
November 26, 2017

Earlier, the Islamabad police, with the help of Frontier Constabulary personnel and other law enforcement agencies, launched an operation against protesters after the last of a long series of deadlines lapsed on Saturday morning without response from the agitators.

The protesters, who before Saturday numbered some 2,000 people, are demanding that Pakistan's law minister Zahid Hamid resign over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear.

The court said the protesters tortured policemen while a report submitted by the IG police said a child lost his life because he could not get medical treatment due to road blockades.

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa talked to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and asked him for a peaceful solution to the problem.

There have also been scattered reports that Facebook and other social media sites have been blocked.

Senior police officer Ismatullah Junejo said police were swiftly clearing the venue as some 300 protesters ignored the final warning to disperse. Nine people were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, doctors said. But later violence has led to injuries to as many as 200 people according to hospitals in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Pakistan's interior minister Ahsan Iqbal claimed that the protestors had "contacted India", and the government was investigating "why they did it", without giving further details about his claim.

The protesters in retaliation are throwing stones at the security men.

Later, news channels went off air, after a notification from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) barred them from broadcasting the security operation live.

Dawn said nearly 8,000 security personnel started operation at 7 am after last deadline ended on Saturday.

"They have fired teargas shells (at security forces), they also cut the fibre-optic cables of cameras monitoring their protest.They have inside information and resources that are being used against the state", he told DawnNews.

Malik Mohammad Ahmed, the spokesman for Punjab government, said enraged protesters in Rawalpindi attacked the residence of the former interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar, damaging the main gate.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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