Dead, 150 Injured After Violent Clashes Between Forces And Islamist Protesters

Islamic protesters 'contacted India' during Islamabad clashes admits Pakistan

Dead, 150 Injured After Violent Clashes Between Forces And Islamist Protesters

The developments come hours after, amid tough resistance and nationwide protests, security forces suspended the crackdown on the Islamabad protesters, who had been blocking the main entrance from the city of Rawalpindi to the capital since early November.

The protesters want the resignation of law minister Zahid Hamid for altering the declaration of lawmakers with regard to Finality of the Prophethood - a change which the government has already reversed.

CNN reported more than 250 people were injured and at least two people died during the protests. "Suggested to handle Islamabad Dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest and cohesion", Major General Asif Ghafoor, the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said in a tweet referring to the conversation between General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Fresh protests were also springing up in other cities.

In an unprecedented move, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority ordered all private television channels to go off air for airing a live feed of the police action on the protesters.

DawnNews reported that protesters tried to break into the residence of former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Faizabad.

Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal had given protesters around Islamabad until last Thursday to disperse, but they continued their demonstration.

The government also shut down Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to block coverage of the operation.

About 100 protesters were arrested Saturday, said Fakhar Sultan, a police officer in Rawalpindi city. Nine people were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, doctors said.

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

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

PEMRA directed news channels to ensure the security of their staff while the situation persisted; in light of which, Geo News as per its tradition of responsible reporting was and continues to abide by the rules.

According to Waqt News, the security forces had dispersed half of protesters from sit-in while all protesters were dispersed from Faizabad interchange.

Smaller demonstrations were breaking out in Lahore and other cities, according to local media.

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