ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday claimed that the Faizabad Operation was not conducted under his supervision.
“The Deputy Commissioner and Inspector General of Police started the operation on the [Islamabad] High Court’s orders,” Iqbal said while speaking to a private television channel.
The minister further said that ‘according to reports’ six people have died.
“No one lost their lives during the administration’s operation,” Iqbal said, adding that he ‘personally’ did not want to take the extreme step. “The government will present its stance in court tomorrow.”
The statement by the interior minister came amid continuing protests across the country that began on Saturday after police officials and paramilitary personnel cracked down on the Islamabad sit-in staged by a religious group.
The operation that had commenced early Saturday morning to clear Faizabad Interchange from protestors staging a sit-in was put on hold later in the day — suspended at approximately 2:30 PM local time, according to reports.
The situation, nevertheless, remained tense in the federal capital. Protests in various parts of the country also erupted after the operation started.
The protests are being held against the change in the finality-of-Prophethood oath in the law when the government passed the Elections Act 2017 last month.
The change — dubbed a clerical error by the government — was immediately fixed as an amendment was passed later.