ISLAMABAD: The negotiations between protestors and government proved successful on Wednesday as protesting religious leaders called off sit-in at the D-Chowk, Minister for Interior, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan said.
The protestors would vacate the D-Chowk and go back to their homes peacefully. No written agreement was made
with the protesting religious leaders, he categorically said while addressing a press conference here.
Nisar said no government’s minister visited D-Chowk for talks, rather protesters came over themselves. Strict
action would be taken against those involved in ransacking of Metro Bus stations, CCTV cameras of Islamabad
safe city project and manhandling of government officials.
He said 1070 protestors had been arrested from twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. They would be freed, in case
they were not involved in damaging public property.
But law will take its course as cases have been registered against those protestors who damaged public and private
property, he added.
Chaudhry Nisar announced to impose ban on holding protests within the Red Zone, especially at D-Chowk.
He said a summary of Interior Ministry with proposals regarding imposing ban on every kind of protest, procession
and sit-in in Red Zone would be forwarded to Cabinet for approval.
He said these proposals would also be put forward before the parliament, however, there would be a ban on every kind of protest or sit-in in the particular area until decision of Cabinet in this regard.
Replying to a question, the Minister said as per his direction names on fourth-schedule were already being reviewed to remove names of innocent people, adding presently about 7000 people are on same schedule.
Expressing satisfaction over peaceful conclusion of the sit-in, he said a notification has been issued for constitution of
a committee headed by Special Secretary Interior to probe into shortcomings that allowed protestors to reach D-Chowk. He said the committee will present its report within seven days.
A few thousand protestors had walked in Islamabad on Sunday, conflicting with security strengths before setting up camp outside key government structures along the Capital’s principle Constitution Avenue.
The administration had given the demonstrators a final proposal to leave late Tuesday, yet it went unnoticed. The
authorities issued a second call, saying police action would be taken to clear the zone.
Meanwhile, mobile phone service has been resumed in Islamabad following the successful talks.