ISLAMABAD Nov. 24: The government has decided to launch an operation against thousands of protesters, who are staging a sit-in at Faizabad since last three weeks, at 7:00 am tomorrow morning (Saturday), TNS has learnt.
Sources told TNS that all preparations in this regard have been carried out to launch an operation against those protesting at main entry point of Islamabad causing countless miseries to masses on twin cities.
The government geared up for a possible showdown with religious hardliners camped out on the federal capital’s after the top court of the country and Islamabad High Court ordered the district administration to take all necessary steps to clear the area.
A 07:00pm deadline for Saturday morning given to protesters to disperse lapsed without much done on either side.
All hospitals in the city were ordered to cancel doctors and paramedical staff’s leaves and ask them to be present on duty till further instructions, sources added.
Sources further said that more than thousand personnel were requested from the Punjab Rangers “to perform duty along with police”.
The district administration had also requisitioned water tankers and fire brigades to prepare for any eventuality.
Ambulances, along with paramedical staff; two fire engines; and three water bowsers would be at the disposal of the district magistrate, sources said.
There were fears that a crackdown would have serious repercussions, with the government hinting that some of the protesters were armed and would not shy from resorting to violence.
“Whoever challenges the writ of the government will be dealt with,” he promised. “We have the capability, but we would rather avoid violence.”
The protesters belong to various ‘religious’ parties, including the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST), and have been calling for the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and strict action against those behind the amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath in the Elections Act 2017 ─ which had earlier been deemed a ‘clerical error’ and restored to its original form on Thursday, November 16.
To pressure the government on its demands, TLY has occupied the Faizabad Bridge which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road, both of which are the busiest thoroughfares in the twin cities.