Army Chief asks PM Abbasi to tackle Islamabad protest ‘peacefully’

1710
PM, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, COAS, Army Chief, Qamar Javed Bajwa

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa advised Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday to “handle the Islamabad dharna peacefully” as violent clashes erupted between security forces and protesters in the capital city during a clearance operation at the Faizabad Interchange.
At least 139 people ─ including protesters and security forces ─ were injured as police, the Frontier Constabulary and other law enforcement agencies employed teargas shelling and rubber bullets to disperse the agitators, who have held an 18-day-long sit-in despite repeated requests by the government to clear the area. In response, the protesters have been using stones and rocks to attack the advancing security forces.
The crackdown ordered by the Islamabad High Court was launched after the last of a long series of deadlines lapsed today morning without response from the agitating parties.
Roughly 8,500 elite police and paramilitary troops in riot gear are taking part in the clearance operation of over 2,000 protesters in the capital city.
Following the news of the clearance operation, religious parties began protesting in other cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Badin.
Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted that the army chief telephoned the prime minister and suggested the clearance operation in Islamabad be handled peacefully, “avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest and cohesion.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here