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PM accepts law minister Zahid Hamid resignation, govt gives in to demands of Islamabad protesters

ISLAMABAD: Following the resignation by Law minister Zahid Hamid government and Dharna (sit-in) leadership have reached an accord for ending sit in.
Prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has accepted the resignation tendered by law minister Zahid Hamid;

Sources said that both government and Dharna leaders have signed a 6-point agreement on this count. As per this agreement Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid will be removed from his position immediately. “Tehreek-i-Labaik will issue no fatwa [religious decree] of any kind against him.”

The report prepared by Raja Zafarul Haq-led committee will be made public within 30 days and whoever is named in the report for being responsible for the change in the election oath will be acted against under the law.
All protesters arrested between November 6 until the end of the sit-in from across the country will be released within one to three days according to legal requirements. The cases registered against them and the house arrests imposed on them will be ended.
An inquiry board will be established to probe and decide what action to take against the government and administration officials over the operation conducted by security forces against protesters on Saturday, November 25. The inquiry should be completed within 30 days and action will be taken against those found responsible.
The federal and provincial governments will determine and compensate for the loss of government and private assets incurred from November 6 until the end of the sit-in.
The points already agreed to concerning the Government of Punjab will be fully implemented.
The document ends by crediting Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and his representative team for their “special efforts” that led to the agreement being signed.
“We are thankful to him [Gen Bajwa] for saving the nation from a big catastrophe,” the document concludes.
Besides the interior minister, the document bears the signatures of TLY leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza, two other protest leaders and Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, who facilitated the agreement.

The minister’s resignation comes in the aftermath of Saturday’s bot¬ched operation against protesters at Faizabad and ‘successful negotiations’ with leaders of the demonstration late Sunday night, official sources and state broadcaster PTV say. Six people were killed while hundreds were injured during the operation that was eventually suspended.

The law minister’s resignation was the chief demand of the agitating parties, who have been staging a protest sit-in — today being its 20th day — in the capital to press the government for his removal. According to PTV, the minister presented his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to bring the country “out of a state of crisis”.
“I made the decision to resign in a personal capacity,” Hamid was quoted as saying by government sources. Hamid reiterated that the Elections Act 2017 had been prepared with the consensus of all parliamentary political parties.
The protesters amassed at the Faizabad bridge belong to various ‘religious’ parties, including the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST), and had been calling for the sacking of the law minister and strict action against those behind the amendment to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath in the Elections Act 2017 – which had earlier been deemed a ‘clerical error’.
The government while terming the protestors demand for resignation of law minister as unjust tried to hold talks with them, however all the sessions of negotiations remained unproductive. Later the government launched operation through police and FC to remove protestors from Faizabad interchange. As many as 250 protestors were injured during operation. The demonstrators turned furious over this operation and the protests erupted in all the cities of the country. The government suspended the operation. It was agreed during the meeting between Army Chief and Prime Minister to resolve the matter with reconciliation.

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