Agreement reached with TLP, says govt

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Details to be unveiled at appropriate time; Agreement victory for Islam and Pakistan: Muneeb

 
Staff Reporter
Islamabad

The government’s negotiating team announced on Sunday that it has reached an agreement with the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan but did not divulge any further details, with Mufti Muneebur Rehman saying the specifics will come to light at an “appropriate time”.

The announcement was made at a press conference held in Islamabad featuring Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, MNA Ali Mohammad Khan, Mufti Muneeb as well as TLP members Mufti Ghulam Abbas Faizi and Mufti Mohammad Ameer.

The agreement comes after almost two weeks of clashes that left at least seven policemen dead and scores injured on both sides.

The proscribed group began the march, calling for the release of its incarcerated leader, Saad Rizvi, and the expulsion of France’s ambassador over the publication of caricatures depicting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in a French satirical magazine.

The situation in Wazirabad, where the TLP marchers have camped out, remains unchanged, with blockades of roads and cellular services continuing.

The protesters have started packing up their belongings, but have been told not to move until they are given the green light by the TLP’s leadership in Islamabad.

Sajid Saifi, a TLP spokesman, told media that supporters were ready to pack up but were awaiting instructions from the party’s leadership.

He said he hoped TLP leader Saad Rizvi and all the activists arrested in recent days would be released soon.

“The government of Pakistan and the TLP had a detailed discussion under an environment of mutual trust, and an agreement has been reached between the two sides,” Mufti Muneeb said.

“The agreement was reached after sense prevailed over aggression, rationality prevailed over sentiments, and all the participants demonstrated patience.
“I want to urge the entire nation that this

 

is not the victory of any individual, but it is the victory of Islam, patriotism, and protection of human lives.

“I want to tell the nation that these dialogues were not held under any duress. They were held in a serious, responsible and independent envi-ronment, [in which] everyone made their contri-bution.

Everyone deserves to be thanked for it.” The Mufti did not give any specific details of the agreement, simply saying that they will be shared at an “appropriate time”.

The Mufti said that the “positive impact” of the agreement will be seen in the coming week, adding: “The participants of the agreement en-tered the accord in the best interest of the coun-try and its people.

This agreement was reached before any untoward incident. This is the news for the entire nation, and the national media should portray it in a positive manner.”

The Mufti thanked all the parties involved for their help in striking the agreement.
Meanwhile, FM Qureshi thanked the ulema for “saving the country from a test” and ex-plained why the government chose to negotiate rather than use force.

“On Friday when I returned from Tehran, the NSC meeting was called,” he recalled. “The meet-ing, after detailed deliberations, decided that talks will be preferred and focus will be to re-solve this issue with sensibility.

“We saw the loss of lives, property, chaos at hospitals, difficulty in movement of people, fear of economic loss, and we chose the path of peace.”

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