Sit-in continues in Lahore despite Faizabad agreement

Protesters in Lahore demand resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah

Amin Hafeez

LAHORE: Protesters belonging to a little-known religious group have refused to disperse in parts of Lahore despite the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and an agreement between the government and protesters in Islamabad.

The weeks-long protest at Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad was called off on Monday following the voluntary resignation of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid and an agreement signed between the government and protesters.

Following the negotiations, the leader of the religious group appealed to protesters across the country to disperse. However, protesters belonging to a separate faction of the religious group have refused to wrap up their sit-in at Lahore’s Faisal Chowk and Shahdara, saying they will not leave until their demands are met.

These protesters, from a different faction of the same religious group, are demanding the resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, and have said they will not disperse even after demonstrations across the country began to end, restoring life to normalcy in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Karachi and other cities.

The protesters have blocked roads at Faisal Chowk, creating difficulties for residents passing through the area. Police contingents have been deployed around the area to keep the situation under control.

The rest of the city, meanwhile, is back to normal as traffic flow has been restored after road blockades were removed. Metro bus service has been restored after it remained closed over the weekend due to the protests.

Educational institutes, however, remain closed in the city today.

The demonstrations and sit-ins held in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the last three days resulted in at least one death and left dozens injured, besides over 200 injuries reported in Islamabad. 

Traffic jams were seen in various cities, resulting in commuters and ambulances being stuck for hours.