Pakistan on high alert, prepares to clear protestors

ISLAMABAD, March 30 (KUNA) — Authorities in federal capital Islamabad reinforced security measures as the government warned of action against the protestors staging a sit-in in the city Red Zone.
Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan assured Pakistanis that the Red Zone having sensitive official buildings would be cleared of protesters on Wednesday.
He stated that additional security forces are deployed at D-Chowk area as legal notices have been served on the leaders of protesters. He said the government exercised maximum restraint and avoided use of force, adding that now the time has come to establish writ of the state adding that the protesters camping in the Red Zone in front of the parliament for the third consecutive day were warned of strict action by security forces. A local police official, Irfan Niazi, told KUNA that around 7,000 security personnel were deployed in the area, to deal with protestors who are using aged men and children as a human shield. The courts sent over 100 suspects to jail on remand for 14 days on charges of provocation, rioting, assaulting law enforcers and ransacking public and government property during the ongoing protest, he confirmed.
Earlier on Sunday, the government requisitioned army to secure Red Zone after protestors clashed with law enforcement agencies. Thousands of people protesting the execution of Mumtaz Qadri, hanged last month for assassinating governor of Punjab province, clashed with the police and pelted stones on law enforcers injuring several security officials. The protesters also burnt several containers, vehicles and a metro bus station.
Qadri was working as a bodyguard for Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer when he shot him 29 times in 2011 over the governor’s remarks to reform the blasphemy law. (end) sbk.ha