Pak authorities deferred by 24 hours operation against protesters blocking

Pakistani (L) and Indian flags stand on a table during an Indian-Pakistan meeting on the Sir Creek region in New Delhi on June 18, 2012. Pakistan and India started two-day talks in New Delhi to resolve their maritime boundary dispute in the Sir Creek region. Sir Creek, which opens up into the Arabian Sea dividing the Kutch region of the Indian state of Gujarat with the Sindh province of Pakistan, is a 96-km strip of water that is disputed between India and Pakistan. AFP PHOTO / Prakash SINGH

Vastavam web:  Pakistani authorities today deferred by 24 hours the operation against protesters led by hardline clerics blocking two busy highways in the capital, as the earlier deadline for them to disperse peacefully or face a crackdown came to an end this morning.About 2,000 activists of Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST) for about two weeks have been blocking the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road that connect Islamabad with its only airport and the garrison city of Rawalpindi.Iqbal said Senator Raja Zafarul Haq will head the negotiating team and expressed hope that he would succeed.

Hundreds of supporters of the TLYR have blocked the main road to Islamabad, threatening violence if Law Minister Zahid Hamid is not sacked.They blame the minister for changes to an electoral oath (Khatm-i-Nabuwwat or finality of the Prophethood) that they allege amounts to blasphemy. The government has said the issue arose due to a clerical error.The government had buckled under pressure and restored the oath to its original form on Thursday after the National Assembly passed the amendment to the law.However, authorities acted after the Islamabad High Court yesterday ordered the city administration to clear the roads and issued a 24-hour deadline for protesters to disperse.Hundreds of security personnel in riot gear were deployed to take action against the protesters.