Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday claimed that religious parties protesting in Islamabad had 'contacted India', and that the government was investigating the matter.

Speaking to DawnNews, Iqbal said: "They are not your average citizens. We can see that they have various resources at their disposal. They have fired tear gas shells [at security forces], they also cut the fibre optic cables of cameras that were monitoring their protest."

The interior minister said the protesters had also "contacted India".

"Why they did it, we are looking into it. They have inside information and resources that are being used against the state."

The interior minister reiterated that the government was attempting to clear the sit-in as part of its legal obligations after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered the capital administration to evict protesters from Faizabad last Friday.

"Our administration is acting on the court's orders and we are completely supporting them," he said.

"We have made all peaceful efforts, but we are forced to act as the group has not budged. These people do not know that anti-Pakistan elements are using this to spread malice against Pakistan."

"We are trying to clear the area with minimum violence, but we also need to ensure the fundamental rights of people of twin cities," he asserted.

Follow updates on the Faizabad operation here.

"We are all Muslims and believe in Khatm-i-Nabuwwat. There is no threat to Khatm-i-Nabuwwat," he asserted.

"The Parliament is there to safeguard the Constitution. The Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath has become more effective than before," he observed. "The last thing Pakistan needs is the instigation of agitation using people's religious sentiment."

"If you want to do your politics, do it, but why are you using this issue to incite hatred?" he questioned.

Explore a timeline of the Islamabad crisis here.