Punjab govt shows TLP the road to Islamabad


LAHORE: As TLP’s protest continued on the fourth day, a delegation of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) led by Muhammad Afzal Qadri called on Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan at 7-Club on Thursday where Sanaullah said that matters of TLP were related to the federal government and the provincial government was in contact with the responsible people of the federal government to resolve their issues.

The delegation included Muhammad Waheed Noor, Sheikh Azhar Hussain Rizwi, Muhammad Ghulam Ghaus Baghdadi and Afeez Ullah Alvi. Interior Minister for State Talal Chaudhry, Islamabad Commission Chief Aftab Ahmed Durani, Punjab Additional Chief Secretary Azam Suleman, IGP Punjab, Lahore CCPO and Lahore commissioner were also present on the occasion.

The provincial law minister said that there would be a breakthrough soon, adding that matters would be resolved through negotiations with the participants of the sit-in. The law minister also directed the Punjab IGP and Lahore commissioner to maintain personal liaison with the participants of the sit-in.

Representatives of the delegation then said that they would prefer to resolve their matters through negotiations with the government.

TLP Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi would announce the next line of action on Friday.

Earlier, the ATC judge declared the TLP chief and other absconding suspects proclaimed offenders over their continued absence from the trial despite being summoned multiple times.

Rizvi, along with other religious activists, was facing multiple charges, including terrorism, in several cases that were registered in 26 police stations across the federal capital after last year’s Faizabad protest.

Religious parties led by TLP chief Rizvi held a sit-in at Faizabad Interchange in the federal capital following the passage of the Elections Act 2017, which they believed deliberately modified the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath as part of some conspiracy. The amendment to the oath had been explained as a ‘clerical error’ by the government and subsequently rectified by the parliament.

Nonetheless, the protesters had occupied the Faizabad Interchange, which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road — both of which are the busiest roads in the twin cities.

Rizvi was one of the central figures of the  sit-in that lasted for nearly three weeks and culminated after an operation to end the protest by the government failed, following which the army brokered an ‘agreement’ between the state and the protesters, the terms of which included the resignation of former law minister Zahid Hamid.