Pakistan

Protesters continue sit-in outside Parliament House

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of enraged people, who gathered outside Parliament House, in protest against hanging of governor Punjab’s killer Mumtaz Qadri, continued their sit-in for the second consecutive day.

Mobile phone services were also blocked in the Capital to prevent any untoward incident in the rally. Pakistani army deployed troops on the streets of the capital Sunday after thousands of protesters converged outside the parliament.

Mumtaz Qadri was executed on February 29 for killing a Punjab governor over his call for blasphemy reform.

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According to AFP, an estimated 25,000 supporters of the former police bodyguard gathered in Islamabad’s twin city Rawalpindi in the afternoon to offer prayers, before turning toward the heavily-barricaded capital, which was patrolled by hundreds of police and paramilitary soldiers.

Riot police carrying batons and shields fired tear gas to try to prevent them pushing closer to the city centre. Some protesters set fire to a container while chanting slogans.

DG ISPR Major General Asim Salim Bajwa tweeted late Sunday that the army had been requisitioned to “control” the situation and secure the Red Zone around Parliament, where protesters were gathering.

The protest had been largely ignored by the Pakistani media, which has increasingly become subject to government-ordered news blackouts designed to prevent unrest from spiralling out of control.

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