Pakistan police move to end anti-blasphemy riot

Since early October, Muslims in Pakistan have been rioting to hinder the softening of the Law sanctioning Blasphemy against Islam. The protests had erupted after the Pakistani parliament approved an amendment to the dreadful Blasphemy Law on October 2.

A demonstrator detained by a policeman gestures near the Faizabad junction in Islamabad, Pakistan

Activists from Tehreek-e-Labaik on Sunday 26/11 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.

Police retrieve their motorcycles which were burned during clashes with protesters near the Faizabad junction in Islamabad, Pakistan

According media reports at least six people were killed on the previous day, when several thousand policemen and paramilitary forces tried to disperse a muslim sit-in protest by anti-blasphemy protesters, who have blocked the main route into the capital from the neighboring garrison city of Rawalpindi.

Supporters of religous group ‘Tehrik Labayk Ya Rasool Allah’ shout slogans to protest the crackdown by Police on their group’s supporters in Islamabad, in Lahore, Pakistan, 25 November 2017. Pakistani police on 25 November, cracked down in Islamabad on an anti-blasphemy sit-in by a hardline Islamist group that has been blocking one of the country’s key highways for around two weeks demanding the resignation of the country’s justice minister Zahid Hamid. The protests had erupted after the Pakistani Parliament approved an amendment to the Blasphemy Law on Oct. 2, removing an oath public servants had to take before assuming office, reiterating their belief in Prophet Mohammed as the last prophet of Islam. Following massive protests by hardline Islamists, three days later the parliament reinstated the article and Zahid Hamid, the justice minister had issued a video to pacify the protesters

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.

A protester walks near burning tents during clashes with police at Faizabad junction in Islamabad, Pakistan

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.

Protesters express their supports to their leadership after clash with police, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Pakistani police have launched an operation to clear an intersection linking capital Islamabad with the garrison city of Rawalpindi where an Islamist group’s supporters have camped out for the last 20 days

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.

Supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, an Islamist political party, chant slogans as they walk to join the sit-in protest in Karachi, Pakistan
Pakistani police officers beat a protester during a clash in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Pakistani police have launched an operation to clear an intersection linking capital Islamabad with the garrison city of Rawalpindi where an Islamist group’s supporters have camped out for the last 20 days
A supporter of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, an Islamist political party, gestures after blocking the main road leading to the airport in Karachi, Pakistan
Pakistani protesters gather next to burning police vehicles after setting on fire them during a clash in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Pakistani police have launched an operation to clear an intersection linking capital Islamabad with the garrison city of Rawalpindi where an Islamist group’s supporters have camped out for the last 20 days
Protesters hurls back a tear gas shell fired by police during a clash in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Pakistani police have launched an operation to clear an intersection linking capital Islamabad with the garrison city of Rawalpindi where an Islamist group’s supporters have camped out for the last 20 days
A protester pours water on a tear gas shell fired by police during a clash in Islamabad, Pakistan, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. Pakistani police have launched an operation to clear an intersection linking capital Islamabad with the garrison city of Rawalpindi where an Islamist group’s supporters have camped out for the last 20 days
A passerby takes a selfie in front of a police prison van destroyed during clashes with police near the Faizabad junction in Islamabad, Pakistan

 

Source: Al-Jazeera

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