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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a 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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

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