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15 December 2017 Last updated 7 hours ago

Islamabad protest: First round of talks conclude without breakthrough

  • Published in General
  • Last modified onSaturday, 18 November 2017 21:04
Islamabad sit-in File photo Islamabad sit-in

 

The first round of talks, held at PML-N leader Raja Zafar-ul-Haq’s residence with representatives of the sit-in, ended on Saturday evening without any breakthrough.

Sources said the protesters are willing to compromise and there is a possibility of a breakthrough at a later time.

The government’s side was represented by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, custodian of Golra Sharif Alauddin Nizami and Haq.

Sources added that both sides have put forth their demands and will now consult with their respected sides for further review. 

Earlier today, Iqbal ordered the city administration to give protesters blocking the Faizabad Interchange 24 more hours to end the sit-in which has paralysed the city for over 10 days.

The minister said that he wants the protest to end peacefully and without any issue, but added that implementation on the court order to disperse the protesters will be started after 24 hours.

Iqbal had also called upon religious leaders and scholars to play their role in helping end the stalemate. 

 The custodian of Golra Sharif, Alauddin Nizami, had also met the protestors. Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, while addressing the media, said the issue of the sit-in should be resolved peacefully. He added that the sit-in does not benefit any person and the protesters should adopt a middle route to end the current stalemate.  

Read more: No need to protest after Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause restored: Interior Minister

Contingents of the police and FC arrived early morning at the site of the protest to disperse demonstrators should they fail to meet the court ordered-deadline. Islamabad police are also in contact with Rawalpindi police for additional forces.

Police sources said that the city administration has asked citizens at Murree Road to move to secure locations and directed shop owners to keep the shops closed.

Residents of I-8 and Faizabad have been asked to remain in their homes while the city administration has declared emergency in hospitals

The administration has also closed all routes towards Islamabad for unnecessary traffic.

The IHC on Friday took notice of the non-implementation of its earlier orders that directed the protest at Faizabad Interchange to be dislodged.

Also read: Islamabad protestors remain put as deadline to vacate Faizabad Interchange passes

Acting upon the court-set deadline, the district administration had set a 10PM target on Friday for protesters to end the sit-in, which, as it turns out, was ignored.

Protesters have not taken the court orders seriously, Justice Siddiqui had remarked during the court proceedings, adding that the district administration has failed to use its powers.

"Freedom of expression does not mean that the rights of other citizens are usurped," he added.

Justice Siddiqui maintained that the administration failed to play its due role in resolving the crisis and merely watched the spectacle unfold as a ‘cricket spectator’.

No need to protest after Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause restored

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal earlier spoke over the ongoing protest in Islamabad and said that there is no need to continue the protest as clause pertaining to Khatam-e-Nabuwat (Finality of Prophethood) has been restored to its original form.

"The protesters no longer need to protest as we have given them a bigger law than they asked for", he remarked, adding "the issue has been resolved".

All the parties came together to restore the clauses of Khatam-e-Nabuwat [Finality of Prophethood] to their original form, he said while speaking to media at Press Information Department on Friday.

Explore:  IHC Orders Religious Parties to End Faizabad Sit-in

The Senate on Friday passed the Elections Amendment Bill, 2017, related to Khatam-e-Nabuwat clauses for voters, after the National Assembly (NA) did the same on Thursday.

Two religious parties have been camped at the key route linking Islamabad and Rawalpindi for nearly two weeks in protest against the government's change, and then reversal, of the finality of Prophethood oath for lawmakers when it passed the Elections Act, 2017 last month.

They have demanded the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and other officials responsible for what the government termed a ‘clerical mistake’.