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Pak court orders release of protesters

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Leader of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party Imran Khan addresses supporters during an anti-government protest near the prime minister's residence in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan on Sept. 5, 2014. An opposition party, which has staged anti-government sit-ins in Islamabad and demanded resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, held talks with a government team on Friday to defuse the political tensions.

The Islamabad High Court Sunday ordered the release of all arrested Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) protesters.

Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi earlier issued a notice to the government seeking its reply by Sep 17 on the decision to arrest protesters, Dawn online reported.

On Saturday, a court in Islamabad sent around 100 PTI activists to Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail on a 14-day judicial remand for allegedly attacking state institutions, including the Pakistan Television (PTV) building.

Of the 100 activists, 91 belong to the PTI while the remaining are from the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).

Responding to the high court order, acting Inspector General of Police of Islamabad Tahir Alam said those arrested were also involved in an attack on Parliament House.

Alam said he would request the Islamabad district magistrate to ensure these people were detained for at least one month.

The detainment and arrests of the PTI and PAT workers brought all talks between the government and protesting parties to an end.

The protests led by PTI chief Imran Khan and PAT’s Tahirul Qadri began Aug 15 in an attempt to overthrow Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whom they have accused of rigging the 2013 general election.