PM Imran addresses nation amid ongoing TLP protests


ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the nation today in order to take public into confidence over ongoing uncertainty following violent protests by a banned organisation in the country.

Federal Minister for Information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain in a tweet said that the premier will address the national today.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that the premier would be giving the address between 4:00 and 4:30pm.

The address comes a day after over a dozen police officers including a DSP were taken hostage by the supporters of a banned outfit in Lahore, sparking clashes between police and protesters.

PM Says Ransacking Properties Hurts Country

Earlier today, the premier while speaking on the launch of Margalla highway announced to launch a campaign at the international level to curb blasphemous acts in the western world.

Referring to ongoing protests, the premier said that damaging properties and infrastructure during protests against blasphemous acts only hurts people of the country.

The premier said he intends to get heads of Muslim countries united to present a strong case of Muslim Ummah on the Islamophobia.

He highlighted that Pakistan raised the issue at the forums of the United Nations and the European Union, hoping that the campaign will yield positive results.

Policemen Held Hostage in Lahore

Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Firdous Ashiq Awan on Sunday said that a group of miscreants attacked Nawankot police station in Lahore and kidnapped 12 cops including a deputy superintendent of police.

“The miscreants were armed with petrol bombs and acid bottles and attacked the cops at the police station,” she said in her Twitter post besides also sharing a statement issued from the Punjab police on the entire episode.

She said the miscreants surrounded the Nawankot police station, where police and Rangers were staying and besides abducting 12 cops including a DSP, their attack led to the injuries to at least six policemen.

“The miscreants also stored 50,000 liters of fuel tanker at their Markaz,” the SACM said while rejecting that the Punjab government initiated any operation against the protestors.
“Police neither planned nor launched any operation,” Firdous Ashiq Awan said adding that the operation was launched in self-defense and in a bid to rescue the abducted cops and safeguard the public property.

Workers of the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan “brutally tortured” a deputy superintendent of police and took him, as well as four other officials, hostage on Sunday, spokesperson for Lahore CCPO Rana Arif told media.

“Today in the early morning, miscreants attacked Nawankot Police Station where Rangers and Police officers were trapped inside the police station and DSP Nawankot kidnapped and taken to the markaz,” the Punjab police said in a statement, referring to the TLP headquarters.

Police and Rangers pushed them back and took back the possession of the police station,” it said, adding that police did not plan or conduct any operation against the mosque or the madressah. “The action, if any, was in self-defence and to protect public property.”
An official report showed 15 injured police personnel were under treatment at different hospitals in the city. Arif said the security personnel were subjected to “brutal torture” by TLP workers.

Meanwhile, at least three protesters were killed and several others injured during the clash, according to the party’s workers.

A TLP spokesperson said the clash started when police launched an operation to clear the area around Lahore’s Yateem Khana Chowk, where workers of the banned party have been staging a protest since earlier this week.

In a video message, TLP spokesperson Shafiq Ameeni said that “[We] will bury [those killed] when the French ambassador exits the country and our agreement (with the government) is implemented.”

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