Vastavam web: Pakistan’s hardline religious groups today called off their crippling sit-in in Islamabad and several other cities after law minister Zahid Hamid resigned, meeting one of their key demands to lift the siege.Hamid’s resignation comes in the aftermath of deadly clashes between security forces and protesters during the weekend, that claimed the lives of six people and injured over 100 others.Hamid’s resignation cleared the main hurdle in the lifting of siege of the capital by protesters who demanded his removal for changes in a law related to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (finality of prohpethood) oath in the Elections Act 2017.
Activists of Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST) religious groups started protests three weeks ago.”We have decided to end the protest after assurance by the army chief and an agreement with government,” he said at Faizabad interchange, where he was camping with over 2,000 supporters for last three weeks.He said that law minister resigned and government agreed to take action against those who were responsible for making changes in the oath about finality of prophethood.
The right wing cleric, who parlayed life in Islamabad and neighbouring Rawalpindi, said his party was not in favour of violence. He said all of his supporters arrested during crackdown would be released by the government.Meanwhile, government opened the Islamabad Expressway linking the capital with its only airport and thickly populated suburban areas along the highway. The Murree Road has also been cleared but its link with Club Road is still not operational.
Local channels showed sanitary workers sweeping the roads and cleaning the area of garbage dumped by the protesters.Radio Pakistan said that Hamid, the minister for law and parliamentary affairs, “voluntarily” presented his resignation to Abbasi to bring the country “out of a state of crisis”.