- Minister says he had a one-on-one conversation with TLP chief Saad Rizvi and the negotiations turned out to be successful
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the government will withdraw cases against workers of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) by Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Rashid said that the government will also oversee the charges imposed under the fourth schedule.
He stated that it is not the government's job to clash with religious parties but its responsibility is to resolve matters in an amicable manner. "Under no circumstances does the government want to go against religious parties."
Rashid added that he had a one-on-one conversation with TLP chief Saad Rizvi and the negotiations turned out to be successful. He said the talks with the TLP lasted more than eight hours, hoping that situation will return to normalcy soon.
"The French ambassador is not in Pakistan presently. But we have assured the party that their demand will be taken to the National Assembly," he highlighted.
On the occasion, the minister instructed the police to remove all barriers and containers from the roads in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. "All the roads, which had been closed earlier to stop the protesters from marching towards Islamabad, will be reopened for traffic gradually," he said.
The TLP protesters will not move forward [to Islamabad] and will stay in Muridke till Tuesday, he said.
TLP decides to convert march into sit-in
Earlier on Sunday, the TLP decided to convert their march towards Islamabad into a sit-in till their demands are met after successful negotiations with the government.
In a tweet, Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs & Cooperatives Punjab Raja Basharat said that the banned outfits workers will stage their sit-in on the road between Sheikhupura and Gujranwala. He also shared that all roads that were closed in Punjab will be opened.
Clashes between police and TLP protesters
On October 23, the TLP said seven of its supporters were killed in clashes with authorities in Lahore. At least three police officers were also killed in the unrest.
Thousands of TLP protesters marched towards Islamabad demanding the release of their detained leader Saad Hussain Rizvi. They blocked roads and shouted slogans in favor of their demands.
The authorities also placed containers in major cities in a bid to stop the protesters from marching towards Islamabad.
Following the April clashes in which TLP activists blocked highways, railways, and access routes to cities and battled police, the authorities arrested their leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi, and banned the TLP.
Authorities had been trying to negotiate with the TLP, which rallied its supporters outside its Lahore headquarters for the last two days, but the negotiations broke down and the TLP called on supporters from around Pakistan to converge on the capital Islamabad.
The main arteries to and from Lahore and Islamabad were blocked with shipping containers to prevent demonstrators from entering the city. The diplomatic enclave in Islamabad, where most foreign embassies are located, was also blocked off.