ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday accepted the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid, who was at the centre of bill-amendment controversy, to end Faizabad sit-in.
Hamid’s resignation came as the government failed to evict the protesters from Faizabad Interchange, an arterial traffic intersection in Islamabad, during a crackdown on Saturday.
The law minister’s resignation was the key demand of the protesting Tahreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) camped out at the capital’s main artery for three weeks.
Federal government reached an agreement with the protest leaders and the minister’s resignation was said to be part of it. The agreement comes on the heels of a botched police action against the protesters that left five people dead and over 150 injured, consequently paralyzing normal life after protests sprung up in various cities.
In a press conference earlier today, TLYRA chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi put a condition of party workers safe release to call off Faizabad sit-in. However, he admitted reaching an agreement with the government authorities.
Taking back the countrywide strike call, he said Faizabad Interchange would be opened after government ensures implementation of the conditions of the agreement.
Earlier on Sunday night, Zahid Hamid offered the resignation to end the prevailing critical situation and pave a way for negotiations, a Radio Pakistan report said.
How it started?
Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah has been protesting for over a fortnight, demanding action against those responsible for making now-withdrawn amendment to the clause pertaining to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath for electoral candidates and the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
“If the government send the law minister packing, it would eventually set a wrong precedent,” the Interior Minister had said, adding, there was no proof that he was responsible for the amendment.