‘Not the Naya Pakistan we’d hoped for’, Jemima criticises govt over TLP deal | Pakistan Today

‘Not the Naya Pakistan we’d hoped for’, Jemima criticises govt over TLP deal

Jemima Goldsmith, British TV producer and former wife of Prime Minister Imran Khan, criticised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for caving into the demands of far-right religious party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and signing a deal with them in light of their protests after the Aasia Bibi acquittal verdict.

On her official Twitter handle, criticising the govt-TLP deal, she wrote: “Not the Naya Pakistan we’d hoped for. 3 days after a defiant & brave speech defending the judiciary, Pakistan’s gov caves in to extremist demands to bar from leaving Pak, after she was acquitted of blasphemy- effectively signing her death warrant.”

However, still hopeful, Khan’s former wife added: “Still hoping there’s some plan afoot which we don’t know about.”

The countrywide demonstrations by TLP and other religiopolitical parties, which erupted on Wednesday after the Supreme Court announced acquitting Aasia Bibi, had left major highways — including the motorway connecting Lahore and Islamabad — blocked and routine life paralysed in major cities.

Mobile services in major cities had also been suspended.

The protests had come after Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a forceful rebuke to the TLP in a nationally-televised address in the ruling’s wake, saying the government would not tolerate violent protests.

On Friday, the government and the TLP had signed a deal to conclude the latter’s nationwide protest. One of the major concessions the government agreed to was to “initiate the legal process” to place Aasia Bibi’s name on the ECL [Exit Control List].

The state had also assured the party that it would not oppose a review petition filed against the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Aasia Bibi blasphemy case.

The government further promised to take appropriate legal action to redress any deaths that may have occurred during the protests against the Aasia Bibi verdict and to release all people picked up in connection with the protests starting October 30.

The TLP, in turn, only offered an apology “if it hurt the sentiments or inconvenienced anyone without reason”.

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