Published: Sun, November 26, 2017
World | By Camille Rivera

Twitter says it's being blocked by Pakistan's government

Twitter says it's being blocked by Pakistan's government

Pakistani police have launched an operation to clear an intersection linking capital Islamabad with the garrison city of Rawalpindi where an Islamist group's supporters have camped out for the last 20 days. Eyewitnesses said Pakistan's largest city was largely locked down, with very little traffic moving.

Activists of Tehreek-e-Labaik had earlier stormed the residence of Law Minister Zahid Hamid in Sialkot, reported local media, as security forces struggled to end the 20-day protests at Faizabad .

The suspension, the official said, was adopted after the country's powerful army chief's suggestion to the prime minister that the sit-in be handled peacefully. The injured, including 93 security personnel, have been taken to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordered media houses to stop live coverage and temporarily suspended several channels, including Geo TV, for failing to follow the directive. Along with Lahore, people in Karachi have started a protest at Numaesh Chaurangi.

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The protesters however spread to dozens of different points as more people from twin cities come to the protest.

Pakistan blocked popular social media site including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to stop protesters from uploading their messages.

Sources revealed that despite the two-hour long discussion, no decision was reached while Islamabad police and administration advised against another operation against Faizabad sit-in including devotees of Sunni Tehreek and Tehreek-e-Labaik.

Since Nov. 8, protesters have blocked a major road between Islamabad and Rawalpindi to highlight their demand for the resignation of Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid because of legislation that would scale back requirements for lawmakers to mention the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.

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Police were still interviewing witnesses on Friday, but they did not identify a suspect or disclose a motive for the attack. As of midnight Friday morning, law enforcement officials have placed crime scene tape on a section of the parking lot.

It is feared that protests will continue on Sunday as well.

The government was accused by the critics, of bungling its response to the protest, and allowing a minor issue to grow into a headline-grabbing and potentially unsafe situation.

Under the restored clause, voters registering for general elections have to declare that they believe that Mohammad was the final prophet, otherwise their names will be put on a separate list for Ahmedis or Qadianis - a minority sect parliament declared non-Muslim in 1974.

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