Govt holds talks with banned TLP as its protest enters second day

Web Desk BOL News

23rd Oct, 2021. 03:15 pm
sheikh rashid

Govt to initiate talks with TLP as its protest enters second day. Image: File

LAHORE: A high-level delegation of the government reached Lahore on Saturday is holding talks with the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) as its protest enters the second day.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, who is leading the delegation, reached Lahore earlier today with Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur and Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri.

According to Bol News, Rashid before the talks chaired an important meeting where provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat briefed him on the latest security situation in Lahore after yesterday’s deadly clashes.

Rashid, who was in Dubai to watch Pakistan compete in the T20 cricket World Cup, returned to Islamabad today on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directive to monitor the situation.

Lahore, Islamabad on high-alert 

Panic has gripped Lahore and Islamabad after local authorities blocked several roads in the cities on Saturday as the protest by the TLP continued.

The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) have alerted residents that Express Chowk was closed for traffic, adding that Margallah Road, Ayub Chowk, Nadra Chowk and Dhokri Chowk could be used alternatively.

Murree Road has also been closed for traffic and that traffic has been diverted to the Islamabad Highway for commuters going from Islamabad towards Murree Road, they added.

The banned outfit on Saturday claimed that five of its supporters had died in clashes with authorities in Lahore,w while the police said that two cops were martyred in the unrest.

On Friday, more than 1,000 people from TLP gathered after prayers to demand the release of their detained leader, blocking roads and firing projectiles. The protests continued on Saturday.

The TLP has previously been behind major anti-France protests that earlier this year led to the embassy issuing a warning for all French citizens to leave the country.

“The clashes are still ongoing,” Rana Arif, a spokesperson for Lahore police told AFP. “This is a defensive operation by police against the mob… We are only doing shelling to control the crowd.”

TLP leader Saad Rizvi was arrested in April when the government outlawed the party in response to violent anti-France protests.

Supporters have threatened to move in convoys towards Islamabad, where police have closed off roads using shipping containers. The party has vowed not to end the protests or enter talks with the government until their leader is released.

The TLP has waged an anti-France campaign since President Emmanuel Macron defended the right of a satirical magazine to republish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) – an act deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.

Six police officers were killed in April this year when the TLP staged rallies that paralysed roads.

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