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PM Abbasi, Shahbaz discuss ways to tackle Islamabad sit-in

LAHORE: After a botched crackdown to disperse hundreds of activists of a religious group from Islamabad’s Faizabad Interchange, the government is weighing up various options to find a peaceful end to the sit-in that has kept the entire country on tenterhooks.

In a latest development, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi here on Sunday. They discussed the ways to handle the aftermath of a failed operation to clear the capital’s busy artery of the defiant protesters.

The two leaders agreed to engage religious parties and scholars to find a peaceful solution of the sit-in and take the military leadership into confidence over the issue.

The activists of the protesting religious party on Sunday clashed with security forces for a second day on the outskirts of the capital, Islamabad, burning vehicles before withdrawing to a protest camp they have occupied for more than two weeks, police said.

At least six people were killed on the previous day, when several thousand police and paramilitary personnel tried to disperse the sit-in, who have blocked the main route into the capital from the neighboring garrison city of Rawalpindi.

More than 125 people were wounded in Saturday’s failed crackdown, and police superintendent Amir Niazi said 80 members of the security forces were among the injured.



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