Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Tuesday that the government has resolved all issues with the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), except the issue of the French ambassador’s expulsion from the country.
Addressing a press conference after meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Rashid said that the premier has asked for a report on ongoing meetings with the TLP's leadership.
The interior minister said that COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa, DG ISI, DGMO, DG MI, Chief Secretaries and other relevant officials were also present in his meeting with the prime minister.
Rashid reiterated that all civil-military institutions are on one page on this issue and have decided that the French ambassador's expulsion and embassy’s shutdown are not doable.
“We don’t want any confrontation which could impact Pakistan’s stability,” he emphasized.
Sharing details of his meetings with the TLP's leadership, Rashid said the group had promised to open all routes by Tuesday.
“We are waiting for them [TLP] to fulfill that promise,” he said.
He informed journalists that except for the one issue, "we don’t have any reservations with the group".
The minister said that he will contact the group’s leadership again at 8 pm today as routes occupied by TLP's workers still remain blocked.
He reiterated that the group’s “top demand” regarding the expulsion of the French ambassador is not possible as there are “many complications.”
Talking about some of the complications, he said that “Pakistan is the only nuclear power from the Islamic world, and the world is planning to declare sanctions on us.”
“The expulsion of the French ambassador would affect our relations with the entire EU countries,” he said.
“France is leading the European Union (EU) and all European countries are standing with France.”
"If we shut down the French embassy from Pakistan, there will be implications for the Pakistanis living abroad.
“I am hopeful the TLP will agree to it. We want peace.”
Rashid also revealed that TLP has given November 2 as the new deadline for the expulsion of the French ambassador from Pakistan. “We don’t want them to come to streets on November 2 again,” he said.
"I will contact the prime minister again after talking to TLP’s leadership."
Last week, Rashid ruled out the possibility of the expulsion of the French ambassador on TLP's demand, saying any such move would affect Pakistan’s ties with the European Union.
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.
On Monday, the interior minister had announced that talks with the TLP were held in a good environment.
The government also released 350 workers of TLP and announced to review charges imposed under the fourth schedule.