Protesters storm PTVin Islamabad, suspend transmission

ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of protesters stormed the state broadcaster on Monday as fresh clashes with police broke out in Islamabad.

Transmission of the main Pakistani Television (PTV) news channel and PTV World was cut minutes after an anchor announced demonstrators had entered the building and “besieged” staff.
The protesters, many armed with wooden clubs, entered the PTV building shouting anti-government slogans.

Both Khan and Qadri appeared on the shipping containers they have used as stages to urge their supporters not to resort to violence.

Protesters armed with rocks and wooden clubs earlier Monday clashed with police, hours after the army called for a peaceful settlement of the political crisis that has shaken the country for the past two weeks.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) marched to the capital on August 15 to try to oust Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over alleged election fraud, triggering a crisis that ultimately sought assistance from the army.

The army on Sunday night urged the government and protesters to settle their differences peacefully, but warned it was “committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the state” after clashes left three dead and hundreds injured.

Violence began on Saturday night when followers of PTI and PAT tried to storm PM´s official residence.

Fresh clashes erupted on Monday morning as heavy rain fell on the capital, when demonstrators again tried to march on the building.

Protesters pelted riot police with stones and some smashed up motorbikes with wooden clubs. Police tried to respond with tear gas but the heavy rain appeared to make it ineffective.

Some managed to breach the perimeter fences of some official buildings, but paramilitary security forces stopped them at the entrance to the PM´s house.