DERA MURAD JAMALI: Traffic remained suspended on the Quetta-Sukkur highway for several hours as hundreds of protesters belonging to various religious parties held sit-ins in Dera Murad Jamali and Quetta against violent clashes between activists and supporters of Tehreek-i- Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah and personnel of law-enforcement agencies in Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Saturday.
Carrying flags and banners, workers and supporters of various religious parties gathered in Dera Murad Jamali and marched on the main national highway as they chanted slogans against the government.
The protesters later gathered outside the local press club, held a sit-in and blocked the highway. They put up barricades on the road that links Balochistan with Sindh and other parts of the country.
One could see a large number of trucks, coaches, wagons and other vehicles stranded on both tracks of the highway.
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The former chief of Balochistan chapter of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Mir Sadiq Umrani, the chairman of the Milad Committee, Faqir Karim Bakhsh Muhammad Hasni, Maulana Muhammad Dawood Naqshbandi and Maulana Nawabuddin Domki were among those who were leading the protesters who called for the resignation of the federal law minister, Zahid Hamid.
They condemned the action of the law-enforcement agencies against the protesters in the twin cities and warned that if the minister was not removed from the cabinet the Sunni Tehreek would continue to mount protests across the country.
However, late in the evening they allowed vehicles to use the national highway after holding negotiations with the local administration.
In Quetta, the supporters and workers of the religious parties blocked various roads after receiving information about the violent clashes in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
They gathered at the Hockey Chowk and staged a sit-in that caused a serious traffic jam in the provincial capital.
During the demonstration, protesters led by Maulana Abdul Quddoos Sasoli raised slogans against the federal government and the security personnel in the federal capital. However, they too dispersed later after negotiations with officials of the local administration.
Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2017