Pakistan Police Disperse Blasphemy Protest
Pakistan police move to end anti-blasphemy protests
Activists from Tehreek-e-Labaik on Sunday clashed with security forces for a second day on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, burning vehicles before withdrawing to a protest camp they have occupied for more than two weeks.
According media reports at least six people were killed on the previous day, when several thousand policemen and paramilitary forces tried to disperse a sit-in protest by anti-blasphemy protesters, who have blocked the main route into the capital from the neighboring garrison city of Rawalpindi.
More than 125 people were wounded in Saturday’s crackdown, and police superintendent Amir Niazi said 80 members of the security forces were among the casualties.
On Sunday morning, smoke billowed from the charred remains of a car and three motorcycles near the protest camp, where several thousand members of the Tehreek-e-Labaik party have gathered in defiance.
Activists from Tehreek-e-Labaik have blocked the main road into the capital for two weeks, accusing the justice minister of blasphemy against Islam and demanding his dismissal and arrest.
Pakistan calls on army in Islamabad to restore order as blasphemy protests spread
Pakistan’s Government has called on the army to help clear a sit-in by Islamist hard-liners blockading the capital after police clashed with activists and religious protests spread to other cities.
About 1,000 activists from Tehreek-e-Labaik, a new hard-line Islamist political party, have blockaded the main road into the capital for two weeks, accusing the Law Minister of blasphemy against Islam and demanding his dismissal and arrest.