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Federal capital turns into ‘war zone’ as govt employees clash with police

ISLAMABAD: The federal capital turned into a war zone as police baton-charged and fired tear gas shells at protesting government employees as they attempted to march towards parliament on Wednesday.

According to details, a heavy contingent of police tear-gassed hundreds of government employees as they attempted to approach the Parliament House to stage a sit-in. Several protestors, along with their leaders, were also arrested.

The protest by employees of the Secretariat demanding an increase in salaries turned violent as they clashed with police at D-Chowk leading to the arrest of at least 27 protestors. A large contingent of police was reached Constitution Avenue to prevent them from advancing towards the parliament.

At least 2,000 people gathered at D-Chowk and planned to march towards Parliament House. police, tried to stop them from marching and fired tear gas shells. This led to chaos and many protesters went inside office buildings in the area.

Due to the protest, several ministries, departments and divisions of the Secretariat came to a standstill. Many officers could not reach the offices due to the closure of the main gate.

Many federal ministers, included Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, have assured the government officers that their demands will be met. However, the protesters have said that they don’t want any verbal commitments and have rejected the offer.  They said the government should issue a notification and confirm the increase in their salaries.

It may be mentioned that the federal cabinet has endorsed a decision to increase salaries of the federal employees and directed the provinces to decide for themselves about the salaries of their employees.