Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
»
2-min read

Commuters Happy, Pakistan Uneasy After Govt Gives in to Islamist Group's Demand

The previously little-known hardline group Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLY) had virtually paralysed Islamabad, where there is little in the way of public transportation.

AFP

Updated:November 28, 2017, 10:31 PM IST
facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp
Commuters Happy, Pakistan Uneasy After Govt Gives in to Islamist Group's Demand
A police prison van, destroyed during clashes, is cleared from the road a day after the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan Islamist political party called off nationwide protests in Islamabad, Pakistan November 28, 2017. Image: Reuters
Loading...

Islamabad: Commuters were jubilant on Tuesday as a main highway into Islamabad reopened three weeks after an Islamist sit-in blocked it, as uneasy soul-searching grew among many Pakistanis over the government's capitulation to the protest demands.

The Islamabad Highway, used daily by thousands travelling from the garrison city of Rawalpindi into the Pakistani capital, was back to normal Tuesday, with traffic flowing, shops open, and sanitation workers cleaning up the mess left behind by the protesters.

The previously little-known hardline group Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLY) had virtually paralysed Islamabad, where there is little in the way of public transportation.

Drivers were forced to go hours out of their way on overcrowded, potholed sideroads unsuited for heavy traffic.

"Everything clear and moving. Its (sic) good to be back in route," commuter Nauman Naseer posted on a Facebook traffic updates group.

But joy on the roads was dampened for many Pakistanis by fear that a dangerous precedent has been set.

TLY had demanded the resignation of Pakistan's law minister Zahid Hamid over a small, hastily-reversed amendment to the oath election candidates must swear.

The demonstrators had linked the change to blasphemy, a hugely sensitive charge in conservative Muslim Pakistan. The government was forced to seek help from the military - widely seen as the country's most powerful institution - after a bungled attempt to clear the sit-in over the weekend devolved into deadly violence and ignited fresh protests in cities across the country including Lahore and Karachi.

The law minister resigned on Monday, with protest leaders saying the government would meet all their demands in a deal the army helped broker.

"It is a surrender so abject that the mind is numb and the heart sinks," wrote the country's leading English newspaper Dawn in a blistering editorial on the deal titled "Capitulation".

"Something profound changed in the country yesterday and the reverberations will be felt for a long time." But Daily Jang, the country's largest Urdu-language newspaper, praised the outcome and role of the military - especially army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa - in ending the protest.

The Islamabad High Court on Monday demanded a full accounting of the agreement and the part played by the military.

Many of the protesters chanted "Long live the Pakistan Army!" as they dispersed, AFP reporters saw.

A viral video showing what appeared to be a Pakistani paramilitary officer handing out envelopes of cash to protesters inspired wide media coverage and scathing comments on Facebook and Twitter against the deal and the military's role in it.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi returned to the country today, Pakistan's information minister said, after flying to Saudi Arabia yesterday for a long-planned trip as the deal was announced.

Analysts have warned that the decision to bow to the Islamists' demands has eroded the government's authority and set a disturbing new precedent in which fringe groups can bend the state to their will by citing blasphemy.

Yesterday at least 300 protesters in Lahore, who had launched their own sit-in in response to the weekend violence, were still refusing to disperse, insisting that they were not part of TLY and therefore not bound to the deal, and that Hamid's resignation was not enough.

"Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah should resign," their leader Ashraf Jalali told a press conference. He warned they would continue their sit-in on the Mall Road, the main artery in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, until their demands were met.

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results