islamabad - The deadlock between the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration and the protesters of Khatam-e-Nabuwat sit-in remains, as the public transport remained thin and the commuters suffered on the roads of the capital.

The protesters, around 400-500 in number, have been camped at D-Chowk here with several roadblocks hindering movement of the road-users in nearby areas. The rally of the religious groups – protesting against the government and demanding a stern action against those responsible for ‘hurting the sentiments of the Muslims’ by changing words in the declaration form – had arrived from Lahore on Thursday.  The rally was organised by the Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasoolallah (TLYR). According to the sources, a representative delegation of the protesters on Friday evening also held negotiations with the district administration.

The delegation was led by TLYR Chairman Asif Jalali, a firebrand scholar, who had recently been barred from entering the capital by the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration.

The sources said that the administration assured the protesters’ representatives of resolving their grievances but could not convince them for calling off the sit-in.

The markets in the Blue Area were also closed on Friday due to the security reasons. A large number of FC and police personnel have been deployed to guard the protesters and bar them from entering the Red Zone. The protesters have set up a stage on Jinnah Avenue near China Chowk, a few hundred meters away from the Parliament House.

The authorities blocked entrances to the Red Zone, including Jinnah Avenue, with containers to keep the rally away since the organisers had announced to storm the sensitive zone.  The Metro Bus service was also closed which has added to the problems for commuters. Hundreds of government employees, particularly those whose offices are located in the Red Zone, faced immense difficulties, first in reaching their destinations and then leaving their offices in the evening. Owing to the closure of Jinnah Avenue, other thoroughfares in the capital saw immense traffic congestion.

The ICT administration had offered the protesters to move to the Parade Ground but they insisted on marching up to the Parliament House.

 The authorities barricaded the Red Zone at China Chowk declaring that the protesters will not be allowed to move any further which ultimately lead to a deadlock.

The protesters want the government to identify and punish those behind the change in the wordings of a declaration of Khatam-e-Nabuwat, or finality of the Prophethood, in election laws.

They also demanded that Punjab Law Minister also resigns from his office.  The change in the declaration was immediately withdrawn and the declaration restored in its original form when the objections were raised.

 However, protesting clerics and their followers claim that it was a conspiracy to weaken the oath of Khatam-e-Nabuwat.