Islamabad protestors remain put as deadline to vacate Faizabad Interchange passes

Khadim Hussain Rizvi leader of the Tehreek-e Labaik Pakistan leads members in shouting slogans during a sit-in in Rawalpindi

Religious group protestors blocked Faizabad Interchange.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has appealed to Ulema and religious leaders to play their role in convincing the protesters of a religious party to end their sit-in in Islamabad.

Contingents of Pakistan Rangers and Frontier Corps (FC) have been deployed at the sit-in site for operation.

The FC and Rangers have also been deployed to assist police in the operation.

The meeting decided that the participants of the sit-in would be given a final warning as well as a written order to end their protest till 10:00 tonight.

The deadline set by the Islamabad High Court lapsed this morning while the possibility of a showdown between the government and the protestors loomed.

During the talks, both the sides presented their points and the sit-in committee had sought time from the government for further consultation with Majlis-e-Shura.

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The Islamabad police chief and chief commissioner, as well as an interior ministry official, were summoned in person at the next hearing.

Fed up with the public response in the twin cities, the cold response by federal government, and the rain which started Tuesday, the protesting clerics took to petitioning the IHC for "execution" of their demands.

Initial talks between the protesters and the government were ended in which the latter hinted at withdrawing cases from the leaders of demonstrators here on Saturday. "The protesters have gathered rocks to defend themselves", he said, adding they also possess 10 to 12 weapons.

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

However, after the deadline expired earlier today, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal postponed the operation by another 24 hours.

Justice Siddiqui said, "Without a guarantee that the protesters will not occupy any other place except Democracy Park and Speech Corner, the district administration should not have allowed them to enter the ICT jurisdiction".

Two religious parties Tehreek-i-Labbaik Yah Rasool Allah Pakistan and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan have been staging a sit-in at Faizabad Interchange, which connects Rawalpindi with the Federal Capital, demanding the Law Minister Zahid Hamid's resignation over his involvement behind the amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (Finality of Prophethood) Oath in the Elections Act 2017, and seeking the disclosure of an inquiry report prepared in this regard publicly.

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