- Force will be used against violent protesters.
- Cellular signals to be jammed in affected areas.
Federal Minister of Interior Affairs, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, has directed the law enforcement agencies to take strict action against the law-breakers responsible for arson and malicious mischief.
He made this decision while chairing a session on the current law and order situation in the country on Tuesday. Rashid also directed the suspension of cellular services in the areas hit by the protests.
The directive came following the members of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a religiopolitical party, blocked highways, motorways and main thoroughfares in multiple cities, bringing the country to a standstill. The minister ordered the authorities to take necessary measures to reopen the affected roads along with several entries and exit points of the motorways blocked by angry protesters.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs, Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, and Chief Commissioner Islamabad, Inspector General (IG) Islamabad attended the important session, whereas, chief secretary and IG Punjab joined via video link.
The Interior Ministry has decided to deal with protestors and law-breakers with an iron hand. Those resorting to violence against commuters and police officials will be taken to task. All necessary measures will be taken to reopen closed routes for traffic.
Moreover, the cellular and internet services will be suspended in affected areas for 24 hours where the law and order situation worsens.
It should be noted that the countrywide protests erupted after TLP chief, Saad Hussain Rizvi, was arrested on Monday noon from outside a mosque near his house after Zuhar prayers.
The Elite force of Punjab Police carried out the arrest and the TLP chief was shifted to an identified place. Reacting to the development, the party’s spokesperson had said that the arrest was made to sabotage TLP’s countrywide protest on April 20 against the government’s move to delay its decision to send back the French envoy to Pakistan.
This has been TLP’s call since French President, Emmanuel Macron made Islamophobic comments and refused to condemn the publication of blasphemous caricatures in October last year.