A delegation of protesters are in talks with the government. The government delegation is being led by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, whereas protesters are being headed by Pir Afzal Qadri.
All educational institutes and commercial activities remained suspended in the area on suspicion of an expected crackdown on the protesters. “We do not want any bloodshed in the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh),” said the interior minister.
He urged the protesters to end their blockade of Faizabad Interchange as their demands have already been met.
The interior minister’s last-minute plea on Friday to religious protesters blocking Faizabad Interchange to end their sit-in fell on deaf ears.
Islamabad administration had told the protesting parties on Friday to end their sit-in by Saturday morning (10am) or face a joint operation by Rangers, Frontier Constabulary and police to disperse them.
Iqbal late Friday night had urged the protesters to end their sit-in, hours after Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the capital administration to clear the interchange.
Roughly 2,000 protesters are demanding the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the Prophethood Declaration Clause in the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017.
The Election (Amendment) Elections Bill 2017 has been passed both by the National Assembly and Senate, bringing the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (finality of Prophethood) clause to its original form.