Saturday, April 17, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday explained that his government had taken action against the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) because it challenged the writ of the state and used street violence, attacking the public and law enforcers.
In a series of tweets, the prime minister explained the state's rationale and the actions it took to control violence after hundreds of policemen were injured in clashes with workers of the religiopolitical party.
Read more: TLP banned: What does it mean?
“Let me make clear to people here & abroad: Our govt only took action against TLP under our anti-terrorist law when they challenged the writ of the state and used street violence & attacking [sic] the public & law enforcers. No one can be above the law and the Constitution,” PM Imran Khan said in his first direct statement on the matter.
On Thursday, the federal government had declared the TLP a proscribed organisation under anti-terrorism laws and launched a broad crackdown against the party.
The action came after days of violent protests and traffic disruptions in the largest cities of Pakistan, which saw public and private property damaged by gangs of hooligans bearing sticks and turning on law enforcement officials at will.
The prime minister, in his statement, also criticised elements worldwide who he said indulge in Islamophobia and racist slurs "under the guise of freedom of speech" to hurt and cause pain to the 1.3 billion Muslims across the globe.
“We Muslims have the greatest love & respect for our Prophet PBUH who lives in our hearts. We cannot tolerate any such disrespect & abuse.”
Demanding an apology from those who hurt Muslims' sentiments, PM Imran said that those in the West, including extreme right-wing politicians, who deliberately indulge in abuse and hate under the guise of freedom of speech, "clearly lack moral sense and courage".
“I also call on Western governments who have outlawed any negative comment on the Holocaust to use the same standards to penalise those deliberately spreading their message of hate against Muslims by abusing our Prophet PBUH,” he added.