Armed standoff continues near Islamabad’s red zone

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ISLAMABAD: Using a woman and two children as human shield, an armed man, demanding the imposition of Shariah system in Pakistan and the ouster of the incumbent government, continues to hold fast to the standoff he started hours ago, Geo News reported.

It all started after the man, later identified as Malik Sikander, armed with at least two assault rifles, an AK-47 and an SMG, started shooting near Jinnah Avenue.

“The man fired several shots after which police and media arrived at the scene”, an eyewitness said.

His wife and two children, a boy and a girl, are also with him, who seem to be calm despite a heavy police contingent with guns aimed at them positioned nearby. One of the kids is injured evident from a bandage on his forehead, the TV footage showed.

He is driving a black Toyota Corolla, now parked in the middle of the road.

As of now the man stands surrounded by Islamabad police and elite force sharpshooters, but he appears calm, smoking cigarettes and downing energy drinks.

His wife, who has been shuttling between the police and her armed husband as a messenger, told the police that her husband would only negotiate with a high-ranking police official.

Upon this SSP operations, Dr Rizwan walked over to him and tried to talk him into dropping his weapons but to no avail. So far several such negotiations have taken place but the stalemate persists.

According to reports along with a safe passage and protection to his family an over-the-board imposition of Islamic Shariah system across Pakistan as well as ouster of the current government is among his demands.

According to certain callers claiming to be his relatives or neighbors, Sikander belongs to Hafizabad and is a bigamist.

However no one could confirm the woman, who is by his side right now, is also his wife.

There are conflicting reports that he is a former Pakistan Air Force serviceman.

Now unemployed, Sikander just recently returned from Dubai, where he was reportedly employed as a migrant worker.

It was also reported that the man was insane.

Armed standoff continues near Islamabad’s red zone
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