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Video from the scene Saturday showed law enforcement forces carrying sticks and firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

Later, news channels went off air, after a notification from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) barred them from broadcasting the security operation live.

The court said the protesters tortured policemen while a report submitted by the IG police said a child lost his life because he could not get medical treatment due to road blockades.

The developments come hours after, amid tough resistance and nationwide protests, security forces suspended the crackdown on the Islamabad protesters, who had been blocking the main entrance from the city of Rawalpindi to the capital since early November.

At least two people were killed and over 200 were injured across Islamabad and Rawalpindi, with the number expected to rise.

The government also shut down Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to block coverage of the operation.

The interior minister said the protesters had also "contacted India", according to a report in the newspaper.

The Times reported at least 150 protesters were arrested. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, head of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the army's media wing, said that Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa telephoned Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and suggested that the sit-in be resolved peacefully.

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Fresh protests were also springing up in other cities.

As the violence spread, Interior Minister of Pakistan Ahsan Iqbal, in a weird statement, blamed India.

The protestors demand that Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid step down for his alleged role in a recent amendment which now stands withdrawn.

"Patients dying for want of access to hospitals, traders crying for lack of business activity, students are being deprived from their right to education and [the] right of free movement of nearly six million people of [the] twin cities [is being] usurped", he said.

"The administration is taking action under court order but still we are open for talks with them", he said, referring to the protesters.

In most parts of the world, during protests, security forces use teargas shells to disperse the crowds.

Smaller demonstrations were breaking out in Lahore and other cities, according to local media.


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