On Wednesday, capital police resorted to tear gas shelling outside the Secretariat of Pakistan as they attempted to drive back government workers protesting for a pay raise.
Several workers were arrested and the door to escape was broken by those trapped in the Secretariat Block.
At several different points in the area, including Constitution Lane, outside the Secretariat Block and Cabinet Block, protests were held.
Outside the National Press Club, which was joined by workers posted in Balochistan and Punjab, a rally was also organised. Later, the demonstrators launched a march into the House of Parliament.
Containers were put on the roads by police, closing off D-Chowk.
DIG (operations) Afzal Ahmed Kausar and Senior Police Superintendent Dr Syed Mustafa Tanvir are monitoring the security arrangements directly, the police spokesman said in a tweet.
Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat of Islamabad was also at the scene and oversaw the case.
“The morale of the police is high [and] the situation is completely under control,” the statement added.
“Action will be taken against the ones who took law in their hands,”Action will be taken against those who have taken the law into their hands.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Minister of Information Shibli Faraz said that the Prime Minister was “very concerned” about the problems facing government workers and the Red Zone situation.
He claimed that the premier ordered the ministries involved to urgently address the complaints of the workers. He is very serious and wants to fix the problems,”He is very serious about this and wants the issues to be resolved,”
“I think that the protest will end today,”I think that the protest will end today.
Speaking at a press conference later that day, Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, who is a member of the protestors’ talks committee, said the government decided to give the workers a special salary for the months before June.
He added that a committee is still looking at the problem and will make a decision before the budget is released and the matter will be resolved.
“When [talks] started, we said we will give 24 per cent but they demanded [much more]. Calculations are being done [and] we are ready to talk.”We said we will give 24 percent when [talks] began, but they requested [much more]. Calculations are being done [and] we are ready to chat.
“government has limits”the government has limits”if they want it [on their own terms], it will be difficult”it would be difficult if they want it [on their own terms].
The Minister claimed that if they put their demands within limits, the government was “still ready to talk” to the demonstrators.
He said another question that had arose was that provincial government workers had already entered the protest, clarifying that if it was linked to its own employees, the Centre could only do anything.
Provincial issues are addressed by provincial governments so we do not order them to raise wages after the 18th Amendment.
Ali Mohammad Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, spoke after Khattak, saying that the government was “not any less worried” about the demonstrators than they were themselves.
A lot of things, like updating and merger, have been fixed, only percentages are left. The committee is happy for four months to provide them relief.
Sheikh Rashid, Minister of the Interior, said the workers had the “right to protest within the limits of the law” However, if political groups joined the strike and sought to “give it a political colour” the government workers would fail.
He added that the government was “ready to issue notification of 25pc [increase] for employees from grade 16 to 22 whenever they say and would get it approved from the cabinet on Monday”
We have no relation to the provinces [but] we would ask that their voices (of the protesters) be heard.
“Centre’s full efforts will be to end this through consensus,” he added.