PM Imran’s cabinet decides to not lift ban on TLP

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The Federal Cabinet Decided on Tuesday that the ban Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a proscribed outfit, will not be lifted, said Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

He was addressing a press conference after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In April, the government had banned the TLP under the anti-terrorism law following violent protests in the country.

The move was made after the Ministry of Interior sent a summary on the recommendation of the Punjab government as the province was centre of the protests that erupted after TLP’s chief Saad Hussain Rizvi, who was demanding the expulsion of French envoy over blasphemous caricatures published in Franch, was detained by police on April 12.

Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had said that the religio-political party was being banned under anti-terrorism act after the Punjab government recommended it.

He said that the party had designed a plan to march on Islamabad to push its demands related to cutting ties with France over blasphemous caricatures.

TLP Protests

The violent protests, which started on April 12 after TLP ameer was arrested by Lahore Police, continued in various cities including Lahore and Karachi for days.

The TLP claimed that 26 people were killed and over 400 activists of the party were injured when police resorted to firing on the protests.

On the other hand, the government said that three policemen were killed and hundreds of others were injured in clashes with violent protesters.

The protests came to an end after the government and TLP reached an agreement to handle the matter without the use of any force.

Under the agreement, the government tabled a resolution in the National Assembly, seeking a debate on the expulsion of the French envoy and other matters.

Background

In February this year, the TLP extended its deadline for the expulsion of French ambassador on the issue of blasphemy of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) till April 20 after it signed a fresh agreement with the government.

The renewal comes days before the previous deadline was set to expire on February 17.

Prime Minister Imran Khan while talking to media said that a government committee held talks with representatives of the religious party leading to the pact.

He said that the TLP had extended the deadline, adding that the government will present the demands of the religious party in the Parliament by April 20 for approval.

The government has agreed to remove the names of TLP leaders from the Fourth Schedule.

In January, TLP newly-appointed chief Maulana Saad Rizvi, son of late Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi had threatened to relaunch protest if the government fails to fulfill its promise of expelling the French ambassador by Feb 17.

Khadim Rizvi died on Nov 19, 2020, two days after his party inked an agreement with the government for ending its protest in Islamabad on the publications of blasphemous caricatures.

The agreement read the government would get a decision taken by the Parliament regarding expulsion of the French envoy within three months and it would not send its ambassador to France and release all the arrested workers of the TLP. The government will not register cases against the TLP leaders or workers.

The last two demands were implemented immediately but rest are subject to the decision of the parliament.

Read more: https://pakobserver.net/road-blocks-traffic-jams-amid-tlp-calls-for-protests/

Read more: https://pakobserver.net/police-arrest-tlp-chairperson-saad-hussain-rizvi-in-lahore/

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