A policeman fires a tear gas shell to disperse federal government workers during a protest to demand higher wages in Islamabad on Wednesday. AFP
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan police fired tear gas shells to disperse protesting government employees, demanding pay raise, and the agitators hurled stones and bricks on the law enforcers in front of the Pak Secretariat Islamabad on Wednesday.
Several employees were arrested and those stuck in the Secretariat Block broke the door to escape. A government committee had held talks with the protesters’ leaders a day earlier that failed.
By forcibly opening the main iron gate of the Pak Secretariat, the agitators tried to move to the D Chowk in front of the parliament. However, heavy police contingents stopped them by firing tear gas shells.
For quite some time, the area became a battleground between the police and protesters. The government servants had planned the protest for the past two weeks and had made announcements to the effect.
Finally, the police pushed the protesters back and locked the main gate. There, the agitators, who also came from other cities, kept chanting anti-government slogans. They said that price hike has made their life extremely difficult
When Information Minister Shibli Faraz happened to pass near the protest, the agitators stopped his car. They demanded release of the arrested colleagues.
The roads leading to the D Chowk had been blocked by shipping containers. A heavy contingent of Rangers was also deployed. The protest caused traffic jams on different roads of the federal capital.
"We had a very difficult two years. We didn't have foreign exchange and couldn't pay our debts. We have avoided a huge crisis because we didn't default (payments). But I know it hasn't been easy for the people, I understand the difficulties they faced and still are facing,” he said in a televised address to the nation.
The prime minister said that blessings and prosperity came from God but it was up to humans to make the effort for them. He called upon the public to participate and donate to the programme with charity before Ramadan.
The prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the current local governments and said a system was being introduced at the village level under which funds would be transferred directly to the councils.
Prime Minister Imran Khan says the last two years of his life were the toughest, despite having struggled all his life, as Pakistan was facing challenges from all fronts.
“My entire life has been a struggle,” he told Dunya TV channel.
The contents that were gutted inside the charred workshop included nine vehicles, tools and equipment estimated at Dhs300,000. However, the flames extended to the adjacent factory, causing damages estimated at Dhs12.3 million, the Court heard.
The Authority explained that Emiratis with female siblings will not be considered as “only son” if proven in official documents from a competent authority.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday officially opened the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress 2023.