Pakistani law minister resigns to end prolonged protest: reports
Pakistani Law Minister Zahid Hamid resigned late Sunday after a religion-related bill caused a prolonged sit-in protest and clashes between protestors and police forces, Pakistani official PTV reported early Monday.
“In order to restore peace in the country, I have decided to step down from my position,” local media quoted the outgoing minister as reporting. It’s not clear whether Prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will accept or reject his resignation.
After his resignation, the government and protestors signed an agreement to put an end to the three-week long sit-in protest which has blocked major traffic conjunction between Islamabad and its sister city of Rawalpindi, according to local reports.
The religious groups who staged the protest are also likely to make an announcement to end the protest, said Geo News.
The Pakistani government last month passed a religion-related bill which triggered strong opposition from religious community. The government later retracted the bill, but some religious groups further demanded the resignation of the law minister and staged the sit-in protest for almost three weeks.
The government took a clearance operation on Saturday after several rounds of negotiations with the protestors. However, the operation triggered more protests in major cities across the country.
Later the Pakistani Army was called out to help maintain order in Islamabad, and local reports quoted sources as saying that the final agreement between the government and protestors was brokered by the army.
Several were killed and hundreds were injured during the Saturday clearance operation in Islamabad and clashes in other cities.