ISLAMABAD: Four days into their protest outside at D-Chowk, supporters of the former Punjab governor’s assassin have agreed to call off their sit-in and disperse following a ‘successful’ round of negotiations with the government, Express News reported on Wednesday.
According to sources, the government has agreed to some of the demands of pro-Mumtaz Qadri supporters, which include the release of non-violent protesters, no amendment in blasphemy laws, and withdrawal of cases against ulema to be considered, among others.
However, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar denied any written agreement with the demonstrators.
“No written agreement or otherwise was reached between the protesters’ leaders and the government, neither anyone from the government was mandated to do so,” he said while speaking at a news conference after successful negotiations with the representatives of some religious parties.
Several thousand protesters had marched in Islamabad Sunday, clashing with security forces before setting up camp outside key government buildings along the capital’s main Constitution Avenue.
The interior minister said the government will not allow any person or party to hold political rallies or protests in the Red Zone area of Islamabad.
“I as an interior minister have decided it will be prohibited from now on to hold rally or political conferences at the D-Chowk area,” he said.
Talking about the protests, the country’s top security czar said a few violent people had used the situation to politicise the matter. “Some scholars had decided to mark the 40th day of Qadri’s execution peacefully, but miscreants took an advantage of the situation and started marching towards Red Zone.”
He went on to say, “Time has come that we decided people or party who threaten the state by occupying this area will not be allowed to do so.”
Commenting on those who have been arrested during the four-day protests, Nisar said whoever broke the law will be prosecuted