ISLAMABAD – Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri has said that a twelve member committee has been formed to facilitate talks between the government and the leadership of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
He was talking to the media after a delegation of religious scholars held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad to discuss the situation arising out of the ongoing protest by the banned party.
Qadri hoped that the situation will improve as a result of talks to be mediated by the newly formed committee. He said the religious scholars have assured of their cooperation for peaceful resolution of the issue.
Reports said that the religious scholars, during the meeting, urged the premier to free TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi.
To which, the prime minister said that such move set a wrong precedent as various groups would take to streets in the future to pressurize government to accept their demands.
On Friday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the government would not accept any demands put forth via blackmail and said that the state had asked even the Tehereek-e-Taliban Pakistan to sit on the negotiation table.
“I am telling the protestors to return home. I am telling their families: call your people home. The state will not stop at anything to assert itself,” Chaudhry warned in a press talk.
Punjab Police have suffered multiple casualties including four martyrs and over four hundred injured and on Friday the government issued a stark warning that it has had enough.
Chaudhry warned that “No mob can stand up to the state,” as he warned that the government would be taking all possible measures to quell any further mischief.
“The civilian and military leadership are like one clenched fist on this issue,” he said.
The information minister said the state did not wish for blood to be shed in the streets, and asked the proscribed outfit’s members to return home.
The federal minister again asked protesters to not consider the state “weak”, reminding them that “Pakistan has defeated terrorist organisations before.”
The federal minister said the NSC had resolved to back the police force and the state would not tolerate this “mockery” for long.