ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa called Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday to discuss the security situation in wake of the Faizabad operation that is currently underway in the capital.
This was expressed in a tweet by the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor a couple of moments back. The tweet read, “COAS telephoned PM. Suggested to handle Isb Dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest & cohesion.”
COAS telephoned PM.Suggested to handle Isb Dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest & cohesion.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) November 25, 2017
A policeman was martyred during clashes with protesters in Islamabad on Saturday as the security forces fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas at protesters who have virtually paralysed the country’s capital for weeks to disperse them from Faizabad Interchange.
The roughly 8,500 elite police and paramilitary troops in riot gear began clearing the 2,000 or so demonstrators soon after dawn, with nearby roads and markets closed.
The sit-in by the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan has blocked the main highway used by thousands of commuters since November 6, causing hours-long traffic snarls and enraging commuters.
The protesters are demanding that Law Minister Zahid Hamid resign over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear.
Demonstrators have linked it to blasphemy and claim the oath was softened to enable the participation of Ahmedis, a long-persecuted minority sect.
In the aftermath of the crackdown, protesters have also started gathering at key points across the country including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpur Azad Kashmir, Tando Allahyar, Jacobabad, Chakwal, Sabrial, Faisalabad and Gujranwala.