Pakistani officials on Saturday authorized the deployment of soldiers in the capital, Islamabad, to restore order after two weeks of raucous and violent protests.
At least two people died and more than 250 others have been injured in the street demonstrations, hospital officials said.
The Interior Ministry called for a “sufficient number” of Pakistan Army troops to help establish “law and order” in the Islamabad Capital Territory, according to the internal order.
The move, conferred under constitutional powers, was requested by the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration. It was not immediately clear when, or if, the army would take the streets.
Protesters had been blocking a key road connecting Islamabad and the neighboring city of Rawalpindi since November 8.
The group is demanding the resignation of the country’s law minister for what it considers blasphemy after amended parliamentary bills weakened rules that require lawmakers to reference the Prophet Mohammed when taking their oaths.
Protesters on Saturday tried to break into the home of Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid, police in the Punjabi city of Sialkot said. Hamid and his family weren’t home at the time. The gate at the residence was damaged, police said.