Pakistan prepares to clear Islamabad sit-in

'If the protesters do not disperse peacefully tonight, then we will evict them in the morning in front of everyone,' Pakistani interior minister says

Pakistan prepares to clear Islamabad sit-in

World Bulletin / News Desk

Pakistani security forces readied to move on protesters to end a days-long sit-in on the streets of the capital after setting a Wednesday morning deadline for the demonstration to disperse.

Several thousand protesters marched on Islamabad Sunday, clashing with security forces before setting up camp outside key government buildings along the capital's main Constitution Avenue.

The protestors -- who numbered some 25,000 at their peak -- had gathered in support of Mumtaz Qadri, who was hanged in late February five years after he assassinated the Punjab governor over his calls to reform the country's blasphemy laws.

The government gave the demonstrators an ultimatum to leave late Tuesday, but it went unheaded, prompting the government to issue a second call saying security forces would begin an operation to clear the area Wednesday morning.

"If the protesters do not disperse peacefully tonight, then we will evict them in the morning in front of everyone," Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters late Tuesday.

A police source said more than 5,000 security forces would be deployed to clear the sit-in, including the paramilitary Rangers and Frontier Corps with reinforcements from the Punjab police.

Army troops are already standing guard at government buildings near the protest camp.

Last Mod: 30 Mart 2016, 09:39
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