World

Twitter says it's being blocked by Pakistan's government

Twitter says it's being blocked by Pakistan's government

Protesters shout anti-government slogans during a sit-in protest at an entrance of Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.

With the situation turning grim in Islamabad and violence spilling into other cities, the government's Interior Ministry issued a statement in the evening saying the army has been deployed to "control the law-and-order situation".

The protests began on November 8 with demands that the government restore a key election law clause about the Prophet Mohammad.

Dr. Masood Safdar of Benazir Bhutto Hospital said five civilians arrived dead from bullets wounds.

Hundreds of police in riot gear had moved in against the supporters of the Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah party early Saturday after a deadline expired at midnight. They have fired tear gas shells [at security forces], they also cut the fibre optic cables of cameras that were monitoring their protest, " Dawn reported.

CNN reported more than 250 people were injured and at least two people died during the protests.

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Mass protests have been ongoing in Islamabad for several weeks already after the authorities chose to amend the Election Act by excluding a provision that had obliged candidates to confirm the Finality of Prophethood, which is the unanimous belief of the Muslim world that the Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet of Allah.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority told TV channels not to broadcast footage of the operation and took all channels off air.

The Pakistani government has blocked social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube amid the ongoing operation against protesters. Government officials were not immediately available for comment on the situation.

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa talked to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and asked him for a peaceful solution to the problem. The protesters have surrounded leadership and stopping police and Rangers. He said none of the police carried firearms to avoid loss of life, instead using only tear gas and a water cannon to disperse the protesters. However, it will unfair not to appreciate the efforts of religious scholars including Pir of Golra Sharif who came forward to end the stalemate peacefully but the organisers of the protestors regretfully did not hear to them as well.

The protesters, who before Saturday numbered some 2,000 people, are demanding that Pakistan's law minister Zahid Hamid resign over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath that election candidates must swear. Nine people were injured and taken to a nearby hospital, doctors said. He said among them were 106 police.


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