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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Protestors finally Leave Islamabad under an agreement

News Desk |

The Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY), 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.

The government has agreed to the following demands of Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) in order to end the sit-in, The document released has signatures of the Interior Minister, Ahsan Iqbal and the protest leaders. 

Major points asked for:

  1. The first asks  Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid to be removed immediately. If done so they promised that they would issue no fatwa against him.
  2. They have demanded that the report prepared by Raja Zafarul Haq chaired committee should be released to the public within 30 days. They also demanded action for the person who was named in the report for changing the election oath.
  3. All protesters that have been arrested between November 6 till the end of the sit-in from all over the country will be released in the next couple of days. They also asserted that no cases should be registered against these individuals.  
  4. To establish an inquiry board to investigate and take action against the government and administration officials over the operation conducted by security forces against protesters on Saturday, November 25. This inquiry should be completed within 30 days.  

The document thanks Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa for “special efforts” that led to the agreement being signed.

“We are thankful to him [Gen Bajwa] for saving the nation from a big catastrophe.”

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 cities nationwide. “Our main demand has been accepted,” Ejaz Ashrafi, spokesman of the Tahreek-e-Labaik group, told Reuters. “Government will announce the law minister resignation and we will end our sit-in today.” Law minister Zahid Hamid has resigned, state-run news channel PTV said on Monday.

Read more: Update: Policemen taken hostage by protesters, vehicles burned as violence continues…

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.

Read more: Police action against Islamabad sit-in protestors leads to violence

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. The government blamed the change on a clerical error and swiftly restored the original format.

Reuters with desk reporting.