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Pakistan Law Minister Zahid Hamid Resigns Over Bloody Anti-Blasphemy Protests

The Pakistani government last month passed a religion-related bill and triggered strong opposition from religious community. The government later retracted the bill, but some religious groups demanded the resignation of the law minister and staged the sit-in protest for almost three weeks.

Agencies

Updated:November 27, 2017, 9:15 AM IST
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Pakistan Law Minister Zahid Hamid Resigns Over Bloody Anti-Blasphemy Protests
File photo of members of the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, an Islamist political party, shouting slogans against Pakistan Law Minister Zahid Hamid. Image: Reuters
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Islamabad: Pakistan's Law Minister Zahid Hamid has reportedly resigned following clashes between police and protesters triggered by a clearance operation, Pakistani media reported on Monday.

Hamid had made the decision to resign during his meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, said the Express news.

Meanwhile, the Islamist group whose supporters clashed with the police over the weekend is to call off its weeks-long protest.

"Our main demand has been accepted," Ejaz Ashrafi, spokesman of the Tahreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, told Reuters. "Government will announce the law minister’s resignation and we will end our sit-in today."

The Pakistani government last month passed a religion-related bill and triggered strong opposition from religious community. The government later retracted the bill, but some religious groups demanded the resignation of the law minister and staged the sit-in protest for almost three weeks.

The protesters blocked the main road linking Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The government took a clearance operation on Saturday after rounds of negotiations with the protesters. However, the operation triggered more protests in major cities across the country.

Local reports said that several were killed and over hundreds injured during Saturday's nationwide clashes.

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