This Article is From Sep 01, 2014

Pakistan Crisis: Protesters Claim They Have Reached PM's Home, Ransack PTV Offices

Pakistan Crisis: Protesters Claim They Have Reached PM's Home, Ransack PTV Offices

Pakistani opposition protesters near prime minister's residence in Islamabad on September 1 (AFP photo)

Islamabad: Anti-government protesters in Pakistan marched towards Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's house in Islamabad and closed down state broadcaster Pakistani Television (PTV) on Monday after violent clashes over the weekend.

  1. Hundreds of protesters stormed the building of state-owned Pakistani Television (PTV), forcing a break in transmission minutes after an anchor announced that activists had entered the building. "They have stormed the PTV office," a news anchor said just before the screen went blank. "PTV staff performing their journalistic duties are being beaten up."

  2. Soldiers and paramilitary forces entered the PTV building to clear out the protesters.

  3. Protests led by Imran Khan, a renowned cricketer before entering politics, and populist cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, erupted last month and descended into deadly chaos on Saturday, with at least three people killed in clashes with police.

  4. This morning, protesters armed with rocks and wooden clubs clashed with the police. Images showed protesters throw stones at police in riot gear, who used tear gas but were hampered by heavy rain.

  5. Imran Khan, the chief of the Tehreek-e-Insaaf said, "Nawaz Sharif has to decide whether he and his ministers will resign on their own or need to be forced."

  6. All foreign missions in Islamabad are believed to have suspended operation and schools are shut. Security has been tightened across the Pakistani capital.

  7. After the weekend clashes, the army urged the government and protesters to settle their differences peacefully, but warned it was "committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the state".

  8. The army statement reaffirmed support to democracy but said, "the situation should be resolved politically without wasting any time and without recourse to violent means. (The) army remains committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the state and will never fall short of meeting national aspirations."

  9. Opposition groups marched to the capital on August 15 in a bid to force Prime Minister Sharif out of office, triggering a crisis that has raised the spectre of military intervention in a country that has been ruled for half its history by the army.

  10. Mr Sharif, who swept to office last year in Pakistan's first democratic transition of power, has refused to resign. He is due to address both houses of parliament on Tuesday in an apparent effort to show that he is firmly in control.

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