News / Asia

Pakistani Security Clears Protesters From State TV Station

  • Supporters of Tahir ul-Qadri use a sandal to hit a portrait of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as a sign of disrespect after storming the building of the state television channel PTV in Islamabad, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • Demonstrators help an injured comrade, Islamabad, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • Soldiers from the Pakistan Rangers stop protesters in Islamabad, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • A woman lies on the ground while soldiers from the Pakistan Rangers block a road leading to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's house, Islamabad Sept. 1, 2014.
  • Demonstrators chant while walking with soldiers from the Pakistan Rangers, Islamabad, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • Demonstrators use sticks to hit a car and a motorcycle as they protest, Islamabad, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • A police officer fires his weapon as he runs from demonstrators during the Revolution March towards the prime minister's house in Islamabad, Sept. 1, 2014.
  • A policeman fires tear gas to disperse demonstrators during the Revolution March towards the prime minister's house in Islamabad, Sept. 1, 2014.
VOA News

Pakistani security forces have cleared hundreds of anti-government protesters from the state television studio after they seized the building and briefly took the channel off the air.

The protesters, who are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, stormed into Pakistani Television, or PTV, Monday as it carried live coverage of the demonstrators in its offices in the capital, Islamabad.

Later in the day, crowds of protesters armed with wooden clubs tried to break through police lines to push their way to the prime minister's residence in Islamabad. Police responded by firing tear gas.

The demonstrators have been protesting for several weeks, but opposition leader, cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan is vowing not to call off the anti-government protests until the prime minister resigns.

The opposition charges Sharif with massive fraud in last year's election. International observers have said the vote was largely free and fair.

At the television station, Khan told the demonstrators that Sharif has no moral standing to continue to lead Pakistan.

"We are saying to Nawaz Sharif that he should now step down, because today people will come out all over Pakistan against him, and there will be losses to the Pakistani people, and will be losses to people's property, all because of you, and you have no moral ground to continue as prime minister," he said.

Khan urged supporters in Islamabad Sunday night to confront the police and show resolve against what he called its illegal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

Unprecedented military meeting

Pakistan's powerful military held an unprecedented Sunday meeting of its top commanders who say the government should immediately end the standoff peacefully.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif (no relation to PM Nawaz) warns that further use of force will only aggravate the unrest.

Police have attacked television crews and reporters covering the protests. Police have been seen dragging journalists out of vans and beating them with sticks. Some have been seriously hurt. A government minister has promised to investigate brutality against the press.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States supports the right of peaceful protest, but urged the demonstrators and the government to show restraint and said destruction of property was not an acceptable way to resolve political differences.

Extensive damage at PTV

Pakistani Television managing director Mohammad Malick told VOA's Urdu Service that the damage was extensive at the channel's offices.

"Our transmission remained suspended for half an hour, about 25 to 30 minutes.  We are trying to assess the losses," he said. "They [the protesters] were carrying clubs and different types of weapons, they had wooden clubs. They destroyed a lot of equipment.  Some equipment was also stolen."

Some information in this report was provided by Reuters and AFP.

You May Like

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Darkanu from: islamabad
September 01, 2014 1:50 PM
Attack on PTV was pre planned by the PMLN to allegedly involve the protesters as the miscreants were hired from Punjab by a Federal Minister and a lady law maker as reported by a tv channel. we have been observing the repeated instructions by their leaders to demonstrate peacefully without any loss to the states buildings and offices.

They were strictly ordered not to inter in any office but protest outside official premises. The vested interest and the strategy a designed by the government to damage the image of the peaceful protest. Moreover when army was deployed everywhere and why not in PTV is question to be answered who engaged the army in the capital. it was not a lapse but a criminal strategy of the administration and Information Ministry. The impartial investigation will also observe the lapse if and when held.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More