ISLAMABAD: As the military is yet to decide on a request by the civilian government to deploy army troops in the capital to help restore order, Pakistan Rangers, Punjab on Sunday took control of Faizabad Interchange where hundreds of activists of a religious party have camped for over 20 days.
Police and the Frontier Corps personnel have been deployed at I-8 Markaz. The Rangers have cordoned off the IJP Road, Expressway, Murree Road and the Faisal Avenue.
On Sunday morning, smoke billowed from the charred remains of a car and three motorcycles near the protest camp, where several thousand members of the Tehreek-e-LabaiK Ya Rasool Allah clashed with security forces for a second day.
In response to interior ministry’s call for the army development, Pakistan Army said its troops were fully ready to undertake the assigned task in line with its constitutional obligations. However, there were few aspects which need to be clarified prior to the troops’ deployment.
According to sources, the army, in its reply, noted that the police force has not been optimally used in dealing with the protesters, besides Punjab Rangers have not been given written instructions concerning their deployment as second tier force backing the police.
The reply further added the army traditionally deployed to quell riots rather than dispersing crowd.
More than 125 people were wounded in clashes between the protesters and security forces on Saturday.