null
Home Articles Pakistan Pakistan: Islamabad police clash with Qadri supporters

_75734106_75734100

Police in Pakistan have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of supporters of a prominent anti-government cleric in the capital, Islamabad.

Crowds had gathered at the city’s airport to welcome Tahirul Qadri from Canada where he lives, but his flight was diverted to Lahore.

He says he plans to lead a crusade against corrupt politicians.

At least eight people were killed last week when police in Lahore used tear gas and bullets against his followers.

Police had sealed off roads to Islamabad airport but some of the cleric’s supporters – chanting “Islamic revolution” and “long live the army” – managed to break through the security cordon.

Television footage showed Qadri followers armed with sticks and stones fighting running battles with police wielding batons.

“We just want to give a peaceful welcome to our leader but they pounded us with tear gas,” said one protester, Reuters news agency reported.

Mr Qadri’s flight was rerouted to Lahore “to ensure the safety of the passengers and aircraft”, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority told AFP news agency.

The cleric’s return comes at a tense time, with the military on the offensive against militants in the north-west after a failed government peace initiative.

Last year Mr Qadri led mass protests against the previous civilian government ahead of general elections.

There is widespread suspicion here that Mr Qadri’s intervention is being encouraged by Pakistan’s powerful military, following recent tensions with the prime minister, says the BBC’s Andrew North in Islamabad.

Share

Leave a Reply

null

LATEST TALK SHOWS

0 1098

امریکی عدالت نے گوگل کو اسلام مخالف توہین آمیز فلم یوٹیوب سے ہٹانے کا حکم دے دیا