ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be another total surrender before the violent protesters marching towards the capital via G.T. Road, the federal government on Sunday released more than 350 activists of the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), besides announcing that the cases against others would be withdrawn by Wednesday (Oct 27).
The government also assured the TLP leaders of reviewing the Fourth Schedule list containing their names and working on a plan to release their jugged principal Saad Rizvi, blazoned Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed while speaking at a news conference.
The innards minister, who addressed the presser after leading a government platoon in accommodations with representatives of the TLP, including its detained chief, in Islamabad, latterly twittered “ We’ve released 350 TLP workers up to now and we’re still staying to open both sides of road of Muridke as per the decision with the TLP.”
Another round of addresses with the TLP will be held at the Ministry of Interior in Islamabad on Monday morning ( moment), according to Mr Rashid who said the protesters had agreed not to march towards the capital and stay at Muridke, some 33 kilometres from Lahore, till Wednesday.
Still, a TLP Shura member claimed the innards minister had sought time till the return of Prime Minister Imran Khan who’s presently on an sanctioned visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“ Maybe the people will say that the state has surrendered. But it isn’t the job of the state to use the stick ( force),” the minister said, explaining the duty of the state was to find a path of conciliation. “ This is my standpoint as the innards minister,” he snappily added.
A member of the TLP Shura said they had agreed to the government’s offer to stay and stay at Muridke for two days, because the government had assured them that it would release all those arrested, including the TLP chief and other Shura members, and would review the Fourth Schedule.
He further claimed that the government had promised that it would act on the agreement inked with the group in November 2020.
According to the TLP Shura member, their leadership and workers after being released would join the marchers at Muridke and advertise their coming plan, conceivably the termination of the long march.
The Punjab government had reportedly placed 214 TLP activists under the Fourth Schedule. The suspects of terrorism and illiberalism are placed under the Fourth Schedule under theAnti-Terrorism Act, 1997. The list is appertained to original police and law-enforcement agencies for effective monitoring of the people and if someone in the list wants to move nearly, he’s needed to inform the near police station.
Order to remove holders
During the press conference, the innards minister directed the administrations of Rawalpindi and Islamabad to remove all the holders placed at entry and exit points of the binary metropolises.
The holders onG.T. Road, still, shouldn’t be removed, he added.
On Saturday, the fairly less- equipped and inadequately trained workers of the interdicted TLP had bulldozed all security layers of the Lahore and Sheikhupura police and entered Gujranwala. After leaving Lahore, they had braked down and decided to spend the night in Muridke. Two bobbies and as numerous workers of the banned outfit had been killed on Friday when fierce clashes erupted between the protesters and police at Chauburji Chowk in Lahore.
Asked if the government was releasing the chief of the banned organisation, the innards minister simply replied “ Insha Allah, we’re working on it.”
“ It has been decided that we will withdraw cases against them (TLP people) by Tuesday or Wednesday and will look into the Fourth Schedule as well,” the minister declared a day after returning from Dubai, where he’d gone to watch Pakistan-India T20 justice match, on the high minister’s directive.
“ We had a good meeting with them (TLP people). Their expostulation that we had done nothing positive in the last six months was correct,” Mr Rashid said while pertaining to the last time agreement with the TLP after analogous violent demurrers seeking expatriation of French minister from Pakistan over the issue of the publication of impious caricatures.
The minister said he again explained to TLP representatives that being the only nuclear power among Muslim countries, Pakistan was also facing external pressure. Presently, there was no French minister in Pakistan, as a elderly diplomat looked after the delegacy, he said. Still, he said the government would request the National Assembly speaker to constitute a commission to debate the matter as per the agreement with the TLP.
TLP is declared interdicted, but not banned Rashid
. The innards minister claimed that the detained chief of the banned TLP remained part of the addresses that continued for further than eight hours. He said he also had had a detailed discussion with him during a one-on-one meeting with him.
He bared that he was unintentional to come a member of the government’s negotiating platoon, but he shared in the addresses on the asseveration of the TLP leaders including its chief.
Responding to a question, the minister unexpectedly said the government “ had not banned the TLP”.
“ We haven’t banned them (TLP). They’re querying choices on their symbols. They’re neither then nor there. We didn’t approach the Supreme Court,” he tried to explain.
Asked as to why the TLP was also appertained to as “ interdicted” in media reports, the innards minister stated “ It’s written with their name, because we ’ve declared them interdicted.”
The PTI government had slighted the ban on the TLP under theAnti-Terrorism Act on April 15 after three days of intestine violent demurrers by its activists after the arrest of their chief.
The kick call had been given by the TLP leadership over what it claimed government’s failure to apply an agreement with the party, which had demanded that the matter of French minister’s expatriation from Pakistan over the sacrilege issue be appertained to the congress.
The advertisement for placing the TLP on the list of banned organisations had been made by the innards minister at a common press conference with Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri. The minister had also claimed at that time that the government would take measures for the TLP’s dissolution.
On July 13, the civil press decided to keep the ban on the TLP complete.
An interior ministry announcement declaring the TLP a interdicted organisation stated “ The civil government has reasonable grounds to believe that the TLP is engaged in terrorism, (has) acted in a manner prejudicial to the peace and security of the country, ( was) involved in creating lawlessness in the country by bogarting the public, caused grievous fleshly detriment, hurt and death to the help of Law Enforcement Agencies and innocent by- tribune, attacked civilians and officers, created wide-scale hurdles, hovered, abused and promoted abomination, vandalised and ransacked public and government parcels, including vehicles and caused wildfire, blocked essential health inventories to hospitals, and has hovered, constrained, bullied, and overawed the government (and) the public and created sense of fear and instability in the society and the public at large.
“ Thus, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 11B (1) of theAnti-Terrorism Act, 1997, the Federal Government is pleased to list TLP in the First Schedule to the said Act as a interdicted organisation.”
At the press conference, the innards minister finessed a question regarding the prevailing contestation over the appointment of new director-general of theInter-Service Intelligence (ISI), saying that the question should be put to the applicable ministries.
Giving details of the members of the TLP in jails, Mr Rashid said there were 176 TLP men in jails. Still, he denied the group’s claim about the death of TLP activists in the recent violence.
“ They’ve the right to make similar claims, but we don’t have any similar information,” he said.
Pertaining to the group’s claim about the number of TLP workers arrested by the police, the innards minister said “ They’re political people and they’ve the third-loftiest vote bank in Punjab. They’ve the right to make any statement.”
On Sunday, the Lahore police registered a case against 23 officer– liaisons and 200 other activists of the TLP on different charges including terrorism, attacking a police check-post and swiping munitions and mobile phones. The case was registered in the Sanda police station underAnti-Terrorism Act, Conservation of Public Order and Pakistan Penal Code.