Wednesday Oct 27, 2021
ISLAMABAD: PTI Senator Faisal Vawda on Wednesday said that the ministers who had entered into an agreement with the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) should take responsibility for the ongoing situation instead of shifting its onus on Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Taking to Twitter, the senator wrote that "force is not the solution to any conflict".
"An immediate solution to this problem can be found by inviting the imam of the Ka'aba and the trustee of the Holy Shrine of the Prophet (PBUH), and later all Muslim countries can come together to find a permanent solution to [such issues]," Vawda said.
The senator, however, deleted the tweet later.
The senator was referring to the ongoing protests across Punjab and other parts of the country by the proscribed organisation. Despite an agreement with the government, the protests had taken a violent turn after protesters clashed with the police and opened fire on them using Kalashnikovs. As a result, four policemen embrace martyrdom, while 263 police personnel sustained injuries in clashes, according to Inspector General Punjab, Rao Sardar Ali Khan.
As a result, the government has decided to summon the Punjab Rangers to maintain the law and order situation in the province amid the ongoing protests staged by the proscribed outfit.
On the other hand, Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad earlier this evening, had said in response to a question that the government had signed an agreement with the prescribed organisation and it will abide by it.
He said the government tried holding talks with them and kept its word, but "the TLP broke its promises."
"The government has to establish its writ as it is not happy about the loss of human lives," he had said.
The minister added that since the ambassador of France is not present in Pakistan, the proscribed organisation seems to have "another agenda" — as one of their demands from the government was the expulsion of the said envoy.
"The TLP has turned into a militant organisation as its members had opened fire on policemen using Kalashnikovs, leading to the martyrdom of four policemen."
"I am still warning the protesters to return home," Rasheed said, adding that the government cannot keep schools and hospitals closed due to the protests.
"The TLP is banned in Pakistan and now it is feared that it may be banned internationally too," Rasheed had warned, adding that Pakistan won't be able to intervene if such a thing happens.
Earlier, briefing the media on the cabinet's decision today, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said "TLP is not a religious organisation, it is a militant wing".
The minister said the cabinet had decided to deal with TLP like a militant organisation, as he slammed the proscribed political party for blocking roads and central arteries for their protests.
"They have already put up a show six times. The proscribed TLP cannot blackmail the state; it has no status. In the past, we have defeated terrorist organisations," he said.
The information minister, noting that six police officials were martyred during the protest, asked that till when would the state act as a silent spectator.
"We do not want bloodshed," he said and slammed the TLP for blocking the roads "without reason".
He asked the proscribed organisation to not underestimate the state's writ, as the government had waited long enough.
Chaudhry said several people joined the protesters with AK-47s in their hands.
In the light of TLP's protests, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that the government would not allow anyone to take the law into their hands as he issued directives to stop the long march planned by proscribed organisations.
Per sources, the decision was taken during a meeting of the Federal Cabinet. PM Imran Khan had said that the government "will not allow violence for political purposes."
During the meeting, the premier was briefed on the proscribed outfit's protest march, sources said, adding that the government has decided not to allow protesters to march beyond Jhelum.
Sources further added that the government has been adamant not to allow the long march "under any circumstances," and that "no talks will be held with the proscribed organisation."
"The government and the state are on one page regarding the protests," the premier said during the meeting, per sources, adding that the protesters will be "dealt with severely if they try to enter Islamabad."