Protesters push closer to Pakistan PM’s house
The U.S. says it strongly opposes any efforts to impose change on Pakistan’s political system through violence or destruction of property
Pakistani soldiers and paramilitary forces entered the headquarters of the state television channel PTV in Islamabad on Monday after a crowd of protesters stormed the building taking the channel off the air, Reuters news agency reported.
A PTV source said the protesters had occupied the main control room and smashed some equipment. Later, television pictures showed uniformed members of a paramilitary force and soldiers walking calmly into the building.
“They have stormed the PTV office,” a news anchor said just before the screen went blank.
A witness told Reuters the soldiers later escorted the protesters out and placed the building under their protection.
While there were no signs of violence and the protestors left the building peacefully, the anchor said that “PTV staff performing their journalistic duties are being beaten up.”
The station later came back on air.
A large crowd of Pakistani protesters pushed closer to the prime minister's house in central Islamabad on Monday, fighting running battles with police after breaking into the Pakistan Secretariat area which houses government ministries.
Pakistani police clashed with stone-throwing protestors on Monday in the heart of the capital city of Islamabad following weeks of demonstrations calling for the step down of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Reuters reported.
Protests turned violent over the weekend and despite heavy rain on Monday, crowds of demonstrators tried to storm into the PM’s residence pushing through lines of policemen.
Opposition leader Imran Khan had called on his supporters to take to the streets on Sunday, after at least three people were killed and 200 others were wounded during clashes.
“I am prepared to die here. I have learned that government plans a major crackdown against us tonight,” Khan said.
“I am here till my last breath,” he told a crowd of supporters on Sunday.
The United States strongly opposes any efforts to impose change on Pakistan’s political system through violence or destruction of property, the State Department said Monday.
It is speculated that the Pakistani army may take decisive actions to end the crisis.
Senior hospital official Dr. Wasim Khawaja said Sunday that protester Naveed Razzaq drowned in a ditch after he was in a crowd that was bombarded with tear gas.
He was the first one to be killed from clashes.
Razzaq was a supporter of cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, who along with Khan has been leading twin protests since Aug. 14 calling on Sharif to resign, alleging massive voting fraud in the election that brought him into office last year in Pakistan’s first democratic transfer of power.
Sharif, who swept to office in the country’s first democratic transition of power last year, has firmly resisted opposition calls for him to resign while agreeing to meet their other demands such as an investigation into alleged fraud during last year’s election.
Pressure mounts on Pakistan PM to quit as protests continueAbout 8,000 protesters camp outside the home of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanding he quit Asia
Pakistan’s homosexual scene: Is the debate being silenced?Pakistan has attracted global media attention for its vibrant gay scene over the past year Variety
In Pakistan, when is civil disobedience justified?Pakistan should not settle for just any kind of government that can provide stability World
Pakistani journalist Asma Shirazi wins 2014 Peter Mackler awardAsma Shirazi is Pakistan's first female war correspondent and is a host of popular TV talk shows Television & Radio
Pakistan’s Supreme Court summons protest leadersThe court ordered both Khan and Qadri to appear following protests calling for the prime minister's resignation Middle East
Pakistan erupts in protestThousands of opposition demonstrators crowded the streets of the Pakistani capital for a third day after the populist cleric issued a 48-hour ... Perspective
Pakistan protest leader Khan calls for show of strengthThe protests have raised worries about Pakistan's stability barely a year after Sharif took power in a landslide election win. Asia
Pakistan: 60,000 rally against PM SharifPrtesters asked Sharif to step down to pave the way for fresh elections and a new government Middle East
Eight blasts, sustained gunfire heard near Pakistan's Quetta airportThe gunfire had lasted for around half an hour so far, residents said, and was still going on Asia