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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, on Thursday, said the federal cabinet has approved proscription of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and reference would be filed in the Supreme Court (SC) for dissolution of TLP in the next few days.

Addressing a press conference flanked by Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, after a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said the cabinet had approved to ban TLP through circulation and notification in that regard would be issued soon.

The TLP had been banned under section 11-B of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, he said.

“For dissolution of TLP, a summary would be moved to cabinet under Article 72 of Constitution read with Articles 212 and 217 of Election Act for filing a reference in the SC,” he said.

The interior minister made an announcement on April 14 regarding government decision to ban TLP, after law enforcement agencies cleared the major roads across the country after clashes among TLP activists and police, mostly in Punjab.

The protests across the country started after arrest of TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi.

He said the government had made serious efforts to resolve issues through dialogue but the intentions of the TLP were very horrifying and they wanted to come to Islamabad at any cost.

During clashes between protesters and police, over 580 police personnel were injured and 30 vehicles destroyed in various parts of the country.

He said he would visit the residences of martyred police personnel and inquire after health of the injured police personnel.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had lauded the law enforcement agencies personnel for standing firm against the violent mobs.

He said that no leniency would be tolerated and all those involved in creating a law and order situation would be dealt with as per law.

The Minister for Religious Affairs said he remained engaged with the TLP for the last over two years to resolve issues through negotiations.

“We were trying to bring TLP into mainstream politics in the system like other parties,” he said, adding “we wanted to convince TLP on a resolution to be passed from parliament regarding Namoos-e-Risalat in the National Assembly with consensus. We wanted to bring a resolution which could have less repercussion on diplomatic front.”

He said the government had also offered TLP to prepare a draft resolution and then a parliamentary committee would be constituted for holding discussion over their and government draft regarding the matter.

“But we got to know during the negotiations that TLP was planning to start a march on April 20 from the grave of former TLP chief Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi,” he said, adding “the reaction from the party after the arrest of a leader is neither in harmony with what is in our religion nor what is in our constitution.”

To a question, Rashid said the police and the Rangers had been deployed in different cities and there was no threat to foreigners especially French citizens.

He said he had requested the prime minister to provide resources to the police and raise their salaries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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