Pakistan's Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak on Saturday warned Islamists against inciting violence as they remained in a protest camp amid tight security after hard-line cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman hinted that he may try to force Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign by attacking his house. The warning came as protesters led by Rehman, who heads the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, announced to continue their protest.
Akram Durrani, the convener of Rehbar Committee said: "The opposition leaders agreed to stick to the objectives of the premier's resignation and transparent new elections without the supervision of army." Rehman addressed his followers late Saturday and said: "We will take more strict decisions tomorrow. We will not settle anything less than resignation of Imran Khan."
Earlier, hard-line cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman gave Prime Minister Imran Khan a two-day ultimatum to resign, saying he must step down without testing the patience of peaceful protestors.
Rehman said only people of Pakistan and not any "institution" had the right to govern the country. He also called a multi-party conference at his residence here to decide the future strategy against the government.
Pakistan People's Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari; Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai; Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Khawaja Asif and Awami National Party (ANP) general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain attended the meeting.
Rehman launched the "Azadi March" along with leaders of other opposition parties on October 27 from the southern Sindh province. He was scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on October 31. However, it was delayed due to Lahore train fire tragedy.
Meanwhile, Pakistani authorities have made elaborate security arrangements to control the sea of protesters. Main roads have been completely or partially blocked by placing shipping containers. Barbed wires have been used as hurdles to prevent protesters if they try to move towards the Red Zone that includes key official buildings and diplomatic enclave.
The Islamabad local administration requisitioned 111 Brigade in the highly secured Red Zone, which houses sensitive buildings like Parliament House, Supreme Court, Foreign Office, Pakistan Television, Radio Pakistan and Diplomatic Enclave (a cluster of dozens of foreign embassies).