ISLAMABAD: The government on Saturday summoned the army to restore peace in the federal capital as thousands of protesters take to the streets and continue to challenge law and order. A notification has been issued by the interior ministry on Saturday night by the interior ministry after an approval from Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. The army would be deployed in the entire capital to control the situation emerged after a crackdown on protesters. An operation to clear Faizabad interchange from protesters was also ‘suspended’ as thousands of protesters have taken over the streets. Police surrounded the protesters from all sides and are firing teargas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters. In response, the protesters were throwing stones at the security forces. Heavy contingents of police, FC and Rangers were deployed to the interchange, where they used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters, who had paralysed the federal capital for almost three weeks. A policeman was also martyred during clashes with protesters and 170 people were injured. Police said the deceased suffered a deadly blow to the head in I-8/4 as protesters pelted stones at security officials during the operation. Major Developments: 8,500 security personnel have been deployed Police have dispersed nearly 50pc of protesters At least 170 protesters have been arrested Schools situated at Murree Road have been evacuated because of the tear gas shelling in the area Power and internet services in and around Faizabad have been suspended Facebook and Twitter are inaccessible almost around the country TV channels have gone off on PEMRA’s orders PML-N’s MPA Ghulam Sialwi resigns to protest Faizabad crackdown In the wake of ongoing crackdown by government, PML-N’s provincial lawmakers MPA Sahibzada Ghulam Nizamuddin Sialwi has resigned in the wake of crackdown against protestors staging sit-in at Faizabad interchange. Sialwi has also asked all his followers to give up PML-N’s membership and urged his followers to relinquish from all government’s offices. Sheikh Waqas Akram, another PMLN’s NA lawmaker, has also asked the government to release the detained protesters immediately. Akram has also threatened to relinquish the NA’s seat; and asked State minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman to resign. COAS advises PM Abbasi to handle Faizabad sit-in peacefully Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa has advised the government to handle the Faizabad sit-in peacefully and avoid violence, said Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday. DG ISPR said that the COAS called prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and suggested him to handle Islamabad sit-in peacefully and avoid violence from both sides “as it is not in national interest & cohesion.” COAS telephoned PM.Suggested to handle Isb Dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest & cohesion. — Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) November 25, 2017 Supporters of religous group ‘Tehrik Labayk Ya Rasool Allah’ clash with security forces, as government tries to disperse the protestors who are protesting against an amendment in Elections Act 2017. Photo: Sohail Shahzad The protesters at Faizabad have retreated in the face of police action. Security personnel have gone as far as one kilometre into the area occupied by the protesters, some media reports suggested. Asmatullah Junejo — the assistant inspector-general (AIG) expressed that the Faizabad area would be cleared by today affirming that “will try our best to make there is no fatality”. TV channels go off air on PEMRA orders The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has suspended transmission of all the TV channels. Earlier, the media watch-dog had also barred media from live coverage of government’s crackdown against protesters of religious groups. Talking to Daily Times, PEMRA sources said the federal government can issue a policy directive to PEMRA under Section 5 of PEMRA Ordinance and the media watchdog is bound to follow it. A statement issued later on Saturday advised TV channels to exhibit utmost sensitivity regarding the matter and refrain from live coverage. Supporters of religous group ‘Tehrik Labayk Ya Rasool Allah’ clash with security forces, as government tries to disperse the protestors who are protesting against an amendment in Elections Act 2017. Photo: Sohail Shahzad Prison vans, ambulances are at the site, while helicopters and drones are being used by the authorities for aerial surveillance. Around 8,000 security officials are taking part in the operation, including 3,000 FC personnel. Supporters of religous group ‘Tehrik Labayk Ya Rasool Allah’ clash with security forces, as government tries to disperse the protestors who are protesting against an amendment in Elections Act 2017. Photo: Sohail Shahzad According to media reports, the protesters appear prepared for government action as they are armed with catapults and sticks, and are wearing masks Final warning The operation was set by the administration of district after the expiry of midnight court orders. According to a letter addressed to the leaders of religious groups, the administration had ordered the protesters to leave the place by 12 midnight (Friday), otherwise, the ‘leaders and the attendees would be responsible for consequences’. Protests erupt in other cities Demonstrators took to the streets in major cities around the country on Saturday to protest massive crackdown by security forces in Islamabad to disperse the protestors who had staged the sit-in for weeks. Supporters of religous group ‘Tehrik Labayk Ya Rasool Allah’ clash with security forces, as government tries to disperse the protestors who are protesting against an amendment in Elections Act 2017. Photo: Sohail Shahzad Protesters have started gathering at key points across the country including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpur Azad Kashmir, Tando Allahyar, Jacobabad, Chakwal, Sabrial, Faisalabad and Gujranwala. Chief Minister Sindh (CM) Murad Ali Shah has also taken notice of sit-ins and protests in various areas of Karachi, and has directed Inspector General (IG) Sindh AD Khawaja and Commissioner Karachi Aijaz Ahmed Khan to deploy police and law enforcement agencies and disperse the protesters. “No one will be allowed to paralyse the city,” CM said. He also directed DIG traffic to ensure smooth traffic flow in the city.