General

No need to protest after Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause restored: Interior Minister

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal spoke over the ongoing protest in Islamabad and said that there is no need to continue the protest as clause pertaining to Khatam-e-Nabuwat [Finality of Prophethood] has been restored to its original form.
All the parties came together to restore the clauses of Khatam-e-Nabuwat [Finality of Prophethood] to their original form, he remarked while speaking to media at Press Information Department.
On Friday, Senate passed on Friday the Elections Amendment Bill, 2017, related to Khatam-e-Nabuwat clauses for voters, after the National Assembly (NA) did the same on Thursday.
On the Islamabad protest, he remarked that it has brought life to a standstill in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
“After all our tries and negotiations, they [the protesters] have not left till today,” said Ahsan.
“For the last 10 days, they have created a lot of problems for people of the two cities. It has increased traffic congestions and affected the daily lives of students, labourers, traders, shopkeepers.”
Interior minister further said, “We want the issue to be resolved in a peaceful manner.”
The protesters no longer need to protest as we have given them a bigger law than they asked for, he remarked, adding “the issue has been resolved.”
Iqbal once again asked the protesters to engage in a dialogue with the government so that the issue can be resolved in an amicable manner.
Earlier, Minister of State for Interior Talal Chaudhry on Friday said that the usage of force against the protesters staging a sit-in at Faizabad Interchange is the last option.
Chaudhry passed the remarks during a session of the Senate’s standing committee on interior.
He added that many options to resolve the situation have been used and the routes will be cleared soon.
Chaudhry admitted that the government was deceived by the protestors as the representatives of the religious parties had promised, when travelling to Islamabad from Lahore, that they would leave after offering prayers but later refused.
The minister of state for interior further said that 14 cases have been registered against the protestors.
The chair of the committee, Senator Rehman Malik, also instructed the federal government and the Ministry of Interior to clear the routes and disperse the protestors in three days and also to submit a report regarding the sit-in.
Chief Commissioner Islamabad Zulfiqar Haider told the committee that negotiations with the protestors have taken place on political, religious and administrative levels but the protestors have not changed their stance.
Earlier today, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) took notice of the non-implementation of its earlier orders directing the dislodging of the protest sit-in at Faizabad Interchange.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui directed the authorities to vacate the key route from the protesters by 10am Saturday.Following Friday’s court order, the district administration called a meeting in which it decided to give the protesters a ‘last chance’, according to sources.
It was decided that the protesters will be given until 10pm tonight to disperse on their own. In case of a refusal, the government has put on alert the police as well as paramilitary forces.
Supporters of religious parties have occupied the capital’s key junction as part of their protest against the change in the Khatam-e-Nabuwat (Finality of Prophethood) related clauses in the country’s electoral laws.
They have demanded the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and other officials responsible for what the government termed a ‘clerical mistake’.