Ahsan Iqbal urges protesters to end sit-in or face action


ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has urged protesters blocking Faizabad Interchange to end sit-in, hours after Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the capital administration to clear the flyover by Saturday.
Roughly 2,000 protesters are demanding the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the Prophethood Declaration Clause in the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017.
“I urge the protesters to end their blockade of Faizabad Interchange as their demands have already been met,” Iqbal said while addressing a news conference on Friday evening.
The Election (Amendment) Elections Bill 2017 has been passed both by the National Assembly and Senate, bringing the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (finality of Prophethood) clause to its original form.
The protesters, he added, need to end their sit-in, otherwise the government will be compelled to implement the court orders.
Ending the protest is particularly important in view of the approaching Rabi-ul-Awwal, Iqbal said, adding that the authorities did not want a law and order situation to develop.
“To propagate a notion on the social media is if there is a campaign underway against the legislation relating to the finality of Prophet-hood, is completely wrong,” the interior minister said.
The minister went on to add that blockade of any commuting point was against the basic teachings of Islam, saying anyone claiming to be a Muslim should never block another person’s way.
“I value your sentiments but you have registered your protest and should now peacefully disperse,” he told protesters. “If you want talks, you should do so but don’t test patience of the residents of twin cities and end the sit-in before a clash becomes inevitable.”


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