Sit-in protest near the capital

The government on Monday scrambled to secure the support of religious leaders and ulema from across the political spectrum in a bid to negotiate a peaceful end to the sit-in that has paralysed the capital city for a fortnight.

A meeting of the clerics and scholars, which was also attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf, resolved to end the protest in a peaceful manner.

The government is under mounting pressure to end the Faizabad protest, and the Islamabad High Court on Monday initiated contempt proceedings against top officials of the Islamabad administration by issuing them show cause notices.

Committee formed to resolve deadlock amicably; ministers’ meeting with protesters remains inconclusive

A committee of leading religious scholars, headed by Pir Hussainuddin, was also constituted to recommend a satisfactory solution to the lingering sit-in.

The meeting also asked that the report of a committee led by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq over the issue of the change in election laws should be made public, and called on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah to resolve the issue amicably in view of the sanctity of Rabiul Awwal.

Speaking at the occasion, the interior minister claimed that this was not a war between Islam and the unbelievers, adding that any form of haste in trying to resolve the matter could prove counterproductive.The government team also informed the negotiators that separate inquires were being conducted over the issue, and asked the protesters to wait for their recommendations to be finalised.

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