Islamabad protesters refuse to move as deadline to end sit-in expires

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ISLAMABAD: The protesters belonging to a religious party remained camped at the Faizabad Interchange as the midnight deadline given by the district administration expired.

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According to sources, the government would now initiate action after 7.30am on Saturday morning as Pir Nizamuddin Jami has contacted a government official and requested an extension of the deadline.

Earlier today, Islamabad’s district administration on Friday issued a final warning to protesters camped out at the Faizabad Interchange to disperse, threatening to take action if the order was not heeded.

The warning was issued in a notification by the district magistrate.

In a new notification, religious hardliners demanding the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid have been ordered to disperse by midnight.

The order by the district administration comes after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday ordered to shift the protesters to Parade Ground within a span of three days.

The district administration stated that the protesters have been camping at the critical junction illegally and the protesters have been issued a three-day warning previously too, hence, the protesters should vacate Faizabad Interchange by midnight Friday.

“The Parade Ground located near the Faizabad Interchange has been allocated for protests,” the notification states.

If the participants do not vacate the area by midnight, an operation will be launched against them, the District Magistrate has warned.

“If an operation is launched, the burden will be on the participants and leaders of the protest,” the notification further added.

A case has also been lodged in Rawalpindi against the  participants and leaders of the protest for attacking police officials.

The protesters had previously attacked police officers with batons on Murree Road, injuring three constables. According to reports, the protesters had kidnapped Constable Mohammad Abbas and snatched boxes of tear gas shells and anti-riot gear.

The total number of cases against the participants of the protest have now gone up to 20.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that when the writ of the state ends, decisions are made on the streets.