Religious parties protesting in Islamabad had ‘contacted India’, claims Pak’s Interior Minister

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Interior Minister Ashan Iqbal has told the Dawn that the various religious parties parties protesting in Islamabad had ‘contacted India’ and the government is looking into the matter.

“Why they did it, we are looking into it. They have inside information and resources that are being used against the state,” Iqbal claimed.

“They are not simple people. We can see that they have various resources at their disposal. They have fired tear gas shells [at security forces], they also cut the fibre optic cables of cameras that were monitoring their protest,” he added while speaking to the Dawn.

The interior minister reiterated that the government was attempting to clear the sit-in as part of its legal obligations after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the capital administration to evict protesters from Faizabad last Friday.

“Our administration is acting on the court’s orders and we are completely supporting them,” he said.

“We have made all peaceful efforts, but we are forced to act as the group has not budged. These people do not know that anti-Pakistan elements are using this to spread malice against Pakistan.”

“We are trying to clear the area with minimum violence, but we also need to ensure the fundamental rights of people of twin cities,” he asserted.

“We are all Muslims and believe in Khatm-i-Nabuwwat. There is no threat to Khatm-i-Nabuwwat,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, during the operation to remove the protesters, a  policeman was killed and over 100 people were injured.

The religious sit-in has virtually paralysed the country´s capital for almost three weeks.

According to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, 139 injured were brought to the hospital.
The protests had erupted after the Pakistani Parliament approved an amendment to the electoral law on October 2, removing an oath public servants had to take before assuming office, reiterating their belief in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The amendment was deemed a “clerical error” by the government and was rectified. But the protesters still demand the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid for his alleged role in the controversy, Dawn online reported.

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