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Pakistan

PM Khan, cabinet approves blacklisting of TLP as a terrorist organization

  • TLP will be banned under Section 11-B of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.
  • The declaration will be sent to Supreme Court after which the Election Commission will denotify the party.
Published April 15, 2021

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet have approved a summary from the Ministry for Interior Affairs regarding a ban on Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) under the anti-terrorism law.

The summary was approved during the federal cabinet’s session on Thursday, after which the process to blacklist TLP as a terrorist organization was initiated. Sources familiar with the development suggest that the government will present the declaration in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Following that, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will de-notify the TLP and on the directives of the top court. Members elected on TLP ticket will have to detach themselves from the party or they will be disqualified once their party is denotified.

The major development came on Wednesday, a day after TLP activists started violent protests across the country in response to the arrest of their leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi, the son of the late firebrand religiopolitical leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Several clashes between the police and the protesters were reported all over the country in which at least 4 people, including two policemen, were killed, and over 400 people were injured.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, after chairing an important meeting on the country’s security situation, Interior Minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, had announced that the religio-political party will be banned under Section 11-B of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. The step, he said, had been taken on the recommendation of the Punjab government, adding that a summary for the ban had been sent to the federal cabinet.

“Today we have decided to ban TLP and we will get the approval of the cabinet,” Sheikh Rashid said.

The Interior Minister noted that the government held several rounds of talks with TLP leaders, however, no breakthrough was made. On one hand, they were talking to the government, while on the other hand, they were directing their workers to prepare for a march towards Islamabad, with full force.

On the very evening, Rashid told on a news channel that the decision was taken with the consultation of all stakeholders.

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