Meanwhile, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulating Authority (PEMRA) has issued coverage notice for electronic media and all satellite TV channels, the reports said. Hospital officials said near 200 people were injured, majority police. Reports say scores of protesters and police personnel have been injured in the clashes.
Mass protests have been ongoing in Islamabad for several weeks already after the authorities chose to amend the Election Act by excluding a provision that had obliged candidates to confirm the Finality of Prophethood, which is the unanimous belief of the Muslim world that the Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet of Allah.
Taking note of a worsening situation, military chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa telephoned Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to call for the peaceful handling of the protest, according to a tweet by military spokesman Maj. Social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were also blocked in various parts of the country.
The protesters belonging to religious parties - Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST) -are 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.
Officials said that more than 200 people, including police, were injured in the rock throwing and taken to three hospitals in the area.
The Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday once again offered talks with sit-in protesters as embattled law enforcement agencies (LEAs) were fighting to free the Capital which had been under siege since 20 days.
"They have fired teargas shells (at security forces), they also cut the fibre-optic cables of cameras monitoring their protest.They have inside information and resources that are being used against the state", he told DawnNews.
The Islamabad High Court's scolding came one day after the Supreme Court also rejected the government's claim that using force on the protesters could result in injuries and deaths which would foment further unrest in the country.
They reported that police arrested around 150 protesters, some with knives and pistols.
Smaller demonstrations were breaking out in Lahore and other cities, according to local media.
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