Federal government extended the deadline it had announced earlier for the protesters to end their sit-in at Faizabad Interchange by 12 am at night, after the Pir of Golra Sharif contacted Senator Raja Zafarul Haq of the ruling PML-N late on Friday night. Aaj News reported that the deadline was extended till Saturday morning. Government has assured that no action would be taken against the protesters belonging to Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah.
After the contact with the Raja Zafarul Haq, Ulema Committee's meeting is being held to discuss the issue. Pir Nizamuddin Jami expressed hope that the issue would be resolved through reconciliation. Till the filing of this report, he was holding talks with the protesting leaders. ISB REPORTER ADDS: Earlier, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration Friday warned leadership of Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah that action will be taken if TLYRA fails to vacate Faizabad Interchange till 12:00am.
An official said that the ongoing sit-in is illegal as Section 144 is imposed in Islamabad. The ICT administration had earlier issued three letters to the leadership of sit-in, he said. Meanwhile, the police have confiscated a car bearing registration number IDN-6692, filled up with axes and batons and also arrested 11 persons. The car was moving towards the sit-in, the police said. An official said that the police have shifted the car and arrested persons to Industrial Area police station and started investigation from the accused.
Meanwhile, the protesters continued their sit-in at Faizabad Interchange and stuck to their demand of ouster of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid from his office. The protesters have also gathered sticks and stones to cope with any possible operation against them.
Addressing the protesters, Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri said that they still standby their demands and will continue protest till removal of Zahid Hamid from his current position. The 19-day long sit-in is creating problems for residents of twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Due to the blockage of roads, students, patients, and public and private sectors employees have been facing problems in reaching their destinations.
The district administration disconnected power supply to street lights at Faizabad Interchange. Heavy contingents of police, Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Rangers remained deployed for the 19th consecutive day around the sit-in. The law enforcers are ready to take action against the protesters in case of any such order from higher authorities is issued.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017