TLP converts march into sit-in after ‘successful negotiations’ with govt

The banned Tehreek–e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has decided to convert their march towards Islamabad into a sit-in till their demands are met after successful negotiations with the government, PEN reported on Sunday.

In a tweet, Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs & Cooperatives Punjab Raja Basharat said that the banned outfits workers will stage their sit-in on the road between Sheikhupura and Gujranwala. He also shared that all roads that were closed in Punjab will be opened.

 

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed also confirmed that talks between the government and demonstrators have ended successfully. Rashid, who had returned from United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the wake of the current situation of law and order due to protests across the country, said he would hold a press briefing on the situation today.

Meanwhile, Federal Religious Affairs Minister Noor ul Haq Qadri, who was also part of the negotiating committee, said that the leaders of the outlawed party have “assured” the government that their workers will not engage with the police. The demonstrators will continue their protest peacefully where they are, he added.

“After their [TLP] demands are fulfilled, the protestors will end their protest peacefully,” said Qadri. He also assured that the police and security agencies will not intervene if the protest is peaceful.

Deadly clashes

On October 23, the TLP said seven of its supporters were killed in clashes with authorities in Lahore. At least three police officers were also killed in the unrest.

Thousands of TLP protesters marched towards Islamabad demanding the release of their detained leader Saad Hussain Rizvi. They blocked roads and shouted slogans in favor of their demands.

The authorities also placed containers in major cities in a bid to stop the protesters from marching towards Islamabad.

Following the April clashes in which TLP activists blocked highways, railways, and access routes to cities and battled police, the authorities arrested their leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi, and banned the TLP.

Authorities had been trying to negotiate with the TLP, which rallied its supporters outside its Lahore headquarters for the last two days, but the negotiations broke down and the TLP called on supporters from around Pakistan to converge on the capital Islamabad.

The main arteries to and from Lahore and Islamabad were blocked with shipping containers to prevent demonstrators from entering the city. The diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, where most foreign embassies are located, was also blocked off.

Committee formed

The Punjab government also formed a committee to hold talks with the TLP as the group began its long march to the capital.

 

In a Twitter message, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced the formation of the committee that comprises provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat and Prosecution Minister Chaudhry Zaheeruddin.