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22 February 2020

Military called to take control of Islamabad pro-Qadri protests

Islamabad Qadri Supporters Protest

Islamabad: The federal government has requisitioned troops in the red zone of Islamabad to disperse around 15000 angry protesters who orchestrated riots in the capital -- in support of Mumtaz Qadri, the man who murdered Punjab's powerful governor, Salman Taseer. 

The protesters marched from Rawalpindi to Islamabad unhindered by police.  On their way towards the Parliament house, the protesters torched private and government vehicles as well as a metro station in Islamabad.  

The protesters gradually went out of control and police remained helpless. About 24 people were reported injured in stone pelting, mostly police and Rangers personnel.  The government has summoned military to take control of the situation while offering negotiations to the figureheads of the protesters. 
Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan where a mere allegation can trigger major mob violence and lynching. Mostly, people involved in such violence happened to have limited religious education. Some using the Gustakh-e-Rasool term are dressed in western outfits with almost no religious understanding.   
On Saturday, a group of people entered into the Islamabad Airport to insult and physically harm Junaid Jamshed, the country's well-known pop star turned religious scholar. Junaid Jamshed had cracked a light joke about Prophet Muhammad's wife Ayesha who he claimed was unintentional and he regretted.