Islamabad sit-in to be called off after Zahid Hamid’s resignation

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Islamabad – The Pakistani government and Tehreek-e-Labbaik, which had been staging a protest sit-in in the federal capital for past 21 days, have signed an agreement – brokered by the Army – putting an end to the escalating wave of tension across the country.

While the PML-N government appears to have surrendered to all the demands by the protesting side after certain assurance of not resorting to violence, the truce pact also makes the religio-political party bound to refrain from issuing any fatwa ?(decree) against Law Minister Zahid Hamid – the man blamed to have introduced the controversial ‘Khattam-Nabuwwat amendment’ in the Election Reforms Bill.

According to the agreement, an inquiry report prepared by Raja Zafarul Haq will be made public within 30 days and action will be taken against those responsible for the controversial amendment to the Finality of Prophethood declaration for electoral candidates.

The agreement says the arrested workers of the religious parties will have to be freed and cases against them dismissed.

 A formal press conference will be made by Tehreek-e-Labbaik at 7:00 am on Monday.

The move comes hours after Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid voluntarily stepped down from his position.

A private TV channel claimed Hamid has tendered his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, which will be accepted later in the day.

“I was not directly responsible for the introduction of the controversial amendment to the Finality of Prophethood declaration for electoral candidates,” stated Hamid in his resignation letter.

“In order to restore peace in the country, I have decided to step down from my position.”

This weekend saw deadly clashes in the federal capital and other major cities including Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad following Saturday’s crackdown by the police and paramilitary personnel on Islamabad sit-in staged by a religious group.

Protests across the country left at least six dead and over 200 others injured.

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