Monday Nov 08 2021

TLP announces end to Wazirabad dharna after govt revokes ban

TLP leader Syed Sarwar Shah addresses Wazirabad dharna. Photo: Twitter
TLP leader Syed Sarwar Shah addresses Wazirabad dharna. Photo: Twitter

  • TLP leader Sarwar Shah instructs party leaders to end sit-in protest. 
  • Sarwar Shah directs workers to return to Lahore's Masjid Rahmatulil Alameen. 
  • Shah says TLP chief Saad Rizvi will be among workers, supporters of the party on Khadim Hussain's first death anniversary. 

The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) announced ending its sit-in protest Monday, after it held successful talks with the government a couple of days ago. 

TLP leader Syed Sarwar Shah announced that the party was ending its sit-in protest and its workers would go back to Masjid Rahmatulil Alameen. 

"Mufti Muneeb ur Rahman had given us the guarantee and told us to go back to Masjid Rahmatulil Alameen when 50% of our demands are met," Sarwar Shah said, addressing participants of the dharna. 

"[He had also guaranteed] that Saad Rizvi will attend the Urs [Khadim Hussain Rizvi's first death anniversary] with us," he said to slogans from the crowd. 

"We will not go to our homes, we will go to Masjid Rahmatulil Alameen," he said, reiterating that TLP chief Saad Rizvi will be among his supporters on the occasion of his father's first death anniversary. 

TLP no longer proscribed outfit 

A day earlier, the TLP ceased to be a proscribed organisation after the government accorded approval to a summary by the Ministry of Interior, asking for its removal from the First Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

TLP was placed in the said schedule in April 2021 on the recommendation of the Punjab home department.

According to the notification: "The provincial cabinet has considered the request of the organisation and in view of the assurance and commitment by the organisation, is of the opinion that the said organisation shall abide by the Constitution and laws of the country and therefore, keeping in view the larger national interest and long term perspective to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future, the government of Punjab has proposed to the federal government to consider revoking of proscription of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan."

The notice goes on to state that "in exercise of the powers conferred under sub-section (1) of Section 11U of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (as amended), the federal government is pleased to remove the name of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan from the First Schedule of the said Act as a proscribed organisation for the purposes of the said Act".

On November 4, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar granted the initial approval to the summary sent to him by the Punjab home department for the revocation of the TLP's proscribed status.

After granting preliminary approval to the summary, the chief minister sent it to the Federal Cabinet to take a final decision regarding the matter through circulation, sources told Geo News.

The cabinet wing of the services department sent the summary to all the ministers of the province for their signatures, with sources saying that the summary needs the support of at least 18 ministers to be approved.

As per the rules, if no reply is received within three days, the summary was to be considered approved.

Meanwhile, in compliance with a secretive deal between the government and the proscribed TLP, the Punjab government had decided to remove the names of at least 90 activists of the proscribed outfit from the fourth schedule.

The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by Law Minister Punjab Raja Basharat in Lahore.

The meeting also decided to release 100 other activists of the organisation from different jails in the province and reviewed the decisions taken by the steering committee formed to deal with all TLP-related matters.

Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Rao Sardar Ali Khan, Additional Chief Secretary Home Zafar Nasrullah and others were present in the meeting.