ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa spoke with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi over the sit-in in Islamabad.
“COAS telephoned PM. Suggested to handle Isb Dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest and cohesion,” DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted on Saturday.
A policeman was martyred during clashes with protesters after an operation to clear Faizabad interchange commenced early Saturday morning.
Police said the deceased suffered a deadly blow to the head in I-8/4 sector as protesters pelted stones at security officials during the operation.
Heavy contingents of police, FC and Rangers were deployed to the interchange, where they are using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters after the capital was paralysed due to the sit-in which has been ongoing for almost three weeks. According to reports, dozens of protesters have been detained.
The operation was commenced on court orders following the expiry of the midnight deadline set by the district administration.
Prison vans, ambulances are at the site, while helicopters and drones are being used by the authorities for aerial surveillance. Around 8,000 security officials are taking part in the operation, including 3,000 FC personnel.