Pakistan calls on army to restore order as blasphemy protests spread

Islamic protesters 'contacted India' during Islamabad clashes admits Pakistan

Anyway, in the light of the orders of the court, which has fixed Parade ground as the place for any protest, the government need to exert its authority and not allow anybody to paralyse the life in the capital as such a situation also brings a bad name to the country.

Earlier, the Islamabad police, with the help of Frontier Constabulary personnel and other law enforcement agencies, launched an operation against protesters after the last of a long series of deadlines lapsed on Saturday morning without response from the agitators. "They have fired tear gas shells [at security forces], they also cut the fibre optic cables of cameras that were monitoring their protest".

The protesters have been blocking the Islamabad expressway, the main road into the capital, since November 8, demanding the resignation of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid over a perceived softening of the state's position on blasphemy.

By midday, the demonstrators appeared to have beaten back the police to roadblocks located several kilometres away from the site of the protest.

"At least 60 police officers, 45 FC men, and 50 civilians are among those injured", the newspaper says explaining how the figure of casualties is expected to rise as violence spreads to other parts.

Official figures on how many protesters had been arrested during the crackdown were not immediately available.

The rallies were triggered by a change in the wording of an electoral oath for lawmakers, which protesters claim was done to appease religious minorities they consider heretics. Protesters said four of their activists had been killed, but police said there had been no deaths.




Kazmi suffered a serious wound to the chest, but doctors said he would make a full recovery.

The interior minister also said that the government was willing to talk with protestors.

"We were surrounded by those maulvis [religious leaders]". "We can see that they have various resources at their disposal".

Akram and two other policemen were then taken hostage and held by the protesters for five hours, he said. The suspension was ordered for violating media regulations showing live coverage of a security operation, a statement from the regulator said.

The Pakistani government has blocked social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube amid the ongoing operation against protesters.

Media reports quoted an interior ministry order, which authorised the deployment of "sufficient" military troops in Islamabad to "control law and order" in the city until further notice. Islam is a religion that preaches peace, brotherhood but the way the protestors took an unrelenting position was contrary to Islamic teachings. The images showed an area engulfed in thick smoke from tear gas and black smoke from burned tents.

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