Faizabad sit-in: Operation against protesters can be launched at any time, says Ahsan

Iqbal said we don’t want to create any chaos but pressure is being exerted.

ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday has warned of launching operation against the protesters of Sunni Tehreek and Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah, who are staging sit-in in Faizabad, at any time.

In a statement, Ahsan Iqbal said we don’t want to create any chaos but pressure is being exerted to call off sit-in as soon as possible. He also requested the court to extend the deadline for ending the sit-in. He accused the movements of conducting a negative propaganda on the social media and instigating the people.

The federal minister warned that the government has showed patience until now and ‘the well goes only this deep’.

Interior Minister convenes meeting of Ulema

Ahsan Iqbal has also called an emergency meeting of ulema belonging to all schools of thought today to discuss the sit-in by religious parties at the Faizabad Interchange which entered 14th day.

According to an Interior Ministry statement issued here Sunday, final consultation would be held with the ulema to cope with the situation arisen due to the sit-in and to devise a strategy for keeping the nation united on the finality of Prophethood (Peace Be Upon Him).

Situation at Faizabad Interchange 

Heavy contingent of Rangers, Frontier Corps and police are deployed in the area whereas armored vehicles, prison vans and ambulances are also present. Administration of the twin cities had earlier delayed decision to use force against protesters after fourth round of talks ended at residence of Raja Zafarul Haq last night.

Protesting bodies represented by Dr Shafiq Ameeni, Sheikh Azhar and Pir Ijaz Sherani convened the fourth round of talks at Raja Zafarul Haq’s residence with the government and returned to the protesting site. Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal and Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar among others represented the delegation of the government while a cleric from Golara Sharif Ghulamulddin Jami mediated the talks.

The locals of the twin cities are under a miserable scenario as the sit-in has shut down Faizabad interchange from all the sides, forcing locals to reach their destination through long routes and in entended hours instead of minutes. Disrupted traffic flow and vehicles jamming on the alternative routes have also become a routine.

Moreover, mobile services in I-8 and Faizabad remain suspended creating problems for the people. Till date, police has registered at least 17 cases against the protesters including assault on security personnel.

The protesting bodies have vowed to continue the sit-in protest until law minister Zahid Hamid tenders his resignation for a ‘clerical mistake’ in amendment that was brought to Elections Act 2017.

In the then revised form-A of nomination papers, the words “I solemnly swear” were replaced with “I believe” and the clause relating to Khatm-i-Naboowat was made applicable to non-Muslim candidates.

However, the change was branded a clerical mistake by National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and the government had vowed immediate rectification of the alleged mistake.

The Senate had approved reversal of the changes made earlier.

Nonetheless, the protesters who camped in the outskirts of Islamabad and at Faizabad M2 interchange late October are adamant for the law minister to resign.



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