8 people killed in Pakistan as protesters backing anti-Taliban cleric fight police

religion-cleric-attack-police

Pakistani policemen arrest an injured protester during clashes in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, June 17, 2014. AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary

ZAHEER BABAR
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAHORE, Pakistan — Police clashed Tuesday with followers of an anti-Taliban cleric critical of Pakistan’s government in the eastern city of Lahore, violence that killed eight people, officials said.

The cleric, Tahir-ul-Qadri, is based in Canada but has a network of mosques and religious centres across Pakistan. Qadri led a rally of tens of thousands of his supporters that shut down the capital last year, calling for a delay in elections to prevent electoral fraud. His plan to return to Pakistan on June 23 and rally against the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has once again put him in the limelight.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said the clashes killed eight people. The head of Jinnah Hospital, Dr. Abdur Raof, said the hospital received 80 wounded.

The clashes started when authorities came to Qadri’s house and seminary complex to remove security barriers that they said had turned the entire vicinity into a no-go area.

“The police were heavily fired upon from inside the … centre,” said Gujjar, speaking on Pakistani television. Gujjar said that gunfire killed the protesters, not police.

A spokesman for Qadri, Shahid Mursaleem, said the police first shot tear gas to disperse the protesters, then opened fire on them. Mursaleem said police arrested 40 to 50 of the cleric’s followers. He said the government is worried about Qadri’s return and is trying to quiet him.

Qadri on Twitter accused the government of trying to divert attention away from the army operations in North Waziristan, which Qadri has supported. Pakistan launched a major offensive Sunday against militants there after Sharif’s push for peace talks failed to produce results.

Qadri struck a chord with people last year by attacking the state’s inability to solve problems such as electricity and unemployment. But his demand that the government be dissolved and replaced by a military-backed caretaker administration raised concerns that he was being used by the nation’s powerful army to delay parliamentary elections. Qadri denied having any connection to the army.

——

Associated Press writer Rebecca Santana in Islamabad contributed to this report.

08:08ET 17-06-14

[+]

Tags: , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

New Westminster shooting Sikh Wedding

Sikh wedding shooting trial postponed for a year due to “matters that arose”

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The trial over a prominent Surrey broadcaster’s connection with a shooting at a 2010 Sikh wedding came to an abrupt halt…
Continue Reading »

Toronto-Vancouver-Punjabi

SAFA brings “India Live” to Vancouver’s block party on Granville Street

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s not-for-profit South Asian Family Association (SAFA) is bringing a new kind of festival to the downtown core that will offer…
Continue Reading »

India-Canada

Indian women’s hockey team beats Canada 4-2 in Glasgow

IANS Glasgow – The Indian women’s hockey team beat Canada 4-2 in the opening match of the Commonwealth Games here Thursday. The match started in…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

New Westminster shooting Sikh Wedding

Sikh wedding shooting trial postponed for a year due to “matters that arose”

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI The trial over a prominent Surrey broadcaster’s connection with a shooting at a 2010 Sikh wedding came to an abrupt halt…
Continue Reading »

Toronto-Vancouver-Punjabi

SAFA brings “India Live” to Vancouver’s block party on Granville Street

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver’s not-for-profit South Asian Family Association (SAFA) is bringing a new kind of festival to the downtown core that will offer…
Continue Reading »

Surrey-weight lifter-Commonwealth Games-Glasgow

Surrey weightlifter Parm Phangura bound for Commonwealth Games

MICHAEL BOOTH SURREY NOW FLEETWOOD — 163+205=368. That stark equation scrawled in the top corner of a chalkboard means little to a casual observer, but…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

child abuse

Indian kidnappers agree to handover boy to parents on condition of swapping him for his sister

CEN AGENCY In a bizarre demand, parents of an Indian boy who has been kidnapped, were told that they could have youngster back if they…
Continue Reading »

Greece

Tipsy British tourist asked to leave church after mistaking it for a disco

CEN AGENCY A tipsy British tourist had to be asked to leave a church in Crete where he started dancing after local kids told him…
Continue Reading »

Kolkata-India-cruelty-abuse

Private tutor mercilessly beats child, CCTV footage sparks outrage (w/video)

IANS Kolkata – A shocking video of a private tutor mercilessly beating a three-and-a-half-year-old child, caught on CCTV footage, has sparked outrage across the country….
Continue Reading »

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi beauty

Gallery: Bollywood beauty Aishwarya Rai at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

VANCOUVER DESI Longines Ambassador of Elegance Aishwarya Rai Bachchan attended the Opening Ceremony of Glasgow 2014. Take a look at photos from the opening ceremony….
Continue Reading »

Slam! The Tour  poster Horizdesi

Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone gear up for Bollywood extravaganzas in Vancouver, Toronto and the U.S.

IANS New Delhi – Superstar Shah Rukh Khan is ready to shake a leg with his fans in the US after a gap of 10…
Continue Reading »

Actress Alia Bhatt attends the Highway premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.Clemens Bilan/Getty Images

Alia Bhatt feels she’s too young to team up with Bollywood’s Khans

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood’s reigning Khans are in their late 40s and 21-year-old Alia Bhatt feels she needs to look more matured to look convincing…
Continue Reading »