Govt to take back cases against TLP by Wednesday: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid
Following “successful negotiations”, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced on Sunday that the government would take back the cases registered against Tehreek–i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leaders and workers during next week.
Addressing a much-awaited press conference, the minister shared that he had a detailed conversation with TLP’s shura for eight hours and also had a separate “one-to one” conversation with TLP chief Saad Rizvi.
“It was decided that till Wednesday or Tuesday we would withdraw their cases and look at [the] Schedule Four [issue],” said Rashid.
Speaking about TLP’s main demand of withdrawal of the French envoy from Pakistan, the minister said that he told the party that Pakistan is the only Muslim nuclear power and under international pressure.
He added that despite that pressure, he and Religious Affairs Minister Noor ul Haq Qadri have signed an agreement with the TLP.
Rashid shared that TLP had “rightly” objected that the government had not taken any “tangible action” to the demands they made six months ago.
The minister assured that now the government will take up the matter to Parliament and will request National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to form a committee so “work can begin as soon as possible”.
“On Monday at 10am their members will come to interior ministry and we will try to resolve their problems as soon as possible,” said the interior minister.
Rashid asks Rawalpindi, Islamabad admin to remove containers
The interior minister via the press conference appealed to the Islamabad and Rawalpindi administrations to remove the containers that were blocking the roads.
“I tell IG via [this press conference] to keep containers on the side,” said the minister. Let the containers remain on GT Road as the TLP has agreed to do a sit-in at Muridke till Tuesday or Wednesday, he directed.
Government says no TLP deaths reported
When asked about the deaths of TLP workers, Rashid said that the government is yet to receive reports a number.
The interior minister reminded the journalists that the TLP were political people, with the third-largest vote bank in Punjab and would make tall claims.
“Claims that they make they would know [but] we have not received any reports of deaths,” said the minister.
When questioned about the death of martyred policemen, the minister confirmed that two to three cops had lost their lives. He added that the government is speaking to the TLP leadership about the cases that will be registered on the deaths of the policemen.
However, the minister added that there are only two ways forward one was to control the situation or go towards anarchy.
To explain the complexity of the situation, the minister said that the politicians’ job around the world is to find a mid-way. He added that the real problem of the country is that there should not be a clash with religious people.
TLP requested my presence in committee: minister
The interior minister shared that he never wanted to be part of the negotiations committee and even requested TLP not include him.
“I requested them (TLP) not [to put] me [in it]. But Saad Rizvi, Mr Baghdadi and others insisted that I should head it. I requested but they insisted so I am part of it,” said Rashid.
The security czar of the country also revealed that the TLP was not banned in the country and has been fighting elections all across the country.
“We have not banned them and they are fighting elections everywhere on their symbol,” said Rashid.
When pressed why the government calls TLP outlawed, the minister responded that it was because the government has made them outlawed.
“It’s the state’s job to follow the path of reconciliation. People may believe that state has capitulated but its not the state’s job to use a stick and it cannot be done in front of so many cameras,” said Rashid.
The interior minister concluded by saying that the government should ensure that people sitting in Murdike return to their homes by Wednesday.
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