Govt decides to maintain ban on TLP


15pc special allowance for army personnel approved

Staff Reporter

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Tuesday that the government has decided to maintain the ban imposed on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) earlier this year after the party’s workers staged three days of violent protests across the country.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said the report by the committee, constituted to re-view the TLP’s appeal against the ban, was pre-sented in the meeting of the federal cabinet.
“The cabinet was told that after listening to the stance of Punjab government and the party and af-ter investigating the matter, the committee has de-cided that the decision to ban [TLP] was done on merit and facts.”

Chaudhry recalled that there were allegations against the TLP of torturing and killing policemen, setting fires and damaging property, adding: “Keeping this in view, the cabinet has agreed with the committee’s report and decided to maintain the ban on them (TLP).”

In the second phase, the law ministry and the at-torney general for Pakistan would approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the cancellation of the party’s election symbol, he said.

The government had formally banned the TLP on April 15. The development followed three days of violent protests staged by TLP activists against the arrest of their leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi.

Chaudhry said that during today’s meeting, the cabinet approved a 15 per cent special allowance on running basic pay for Pakistan Army personnel.

There had been no increase in the salaries of armed forces personnel for the last two years, he said.

Chaudhry said the special allowances were not be-ing given to Rangers and Frontier Corps (FC) per-sonnel for now but the prime minister said “dis-cussion should be done to include them.”

There-fore, officials from the interior ministry and the fi-nance ministry would hold meetings and it was expected that the salaries of Rangers and FC per-sonnel would also be increased, he added.

The minister said that the government was “very concerned” about the worsening situation in Af-ghanistan and was making efforts to ensure that a situation was not created in which Afghans would have to leave their homes.

He said that the global community should “stand with Pakistan” instead of simply predicting the number of Afghan refugees.

Chaudhry said Paki-stan was observing the situation in Afghanistan and “full efforts” were being made to learn from past experiences and form a policy.

“This isn’t only the responsibility of Pakistan but of the whole world,” he said. “You cannot only come and [destroy] the country and then say [Paki-stan can deal with it].

The international community and countries should fulfill their responsibilities. Pakistan’s full effort is [geared towards ensuring] peace in Afghanistan.”

Chaudhry said Prime Minister Imran Khan ex-pressed a “lot of concern” over encroachments on Islamabad’s green areas and had directed the Paki-stan Air Force and Pakistan Navy to remove their walls/other security arrangements from the green areas as well.

“They have started acting on it. When institutions like the air force and navy do not have that permis-sion, there is no question that anybody else will be given permission” to build on green areas, he stressed, adding that the federal cabinet has in-structed the chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to make Islamabad an “en-croachment-free city”.

During the meeting, the prime minister said the government’s plantation campaign this monsoon season would be the “biggest in Pakistan’s history” in which 50 million trees would be planted. He also directed all ministers to participate in the plantation campaign, Chaudhry shared.

The federal government also approved a three-day holiday for Eidul Azha starting from July 20, he said.


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