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Pakistan Deaths
Pakistan Cases

ISLAMABAD: The federal government Wednesday called in Punjab Rangers for 60 days to assist civilian law-enforcement agencies in handling law and order situation that has emerged in the province in the wake of ongoing protest march staged by the banned, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, while addressing a press conference, said that Punjab Rangers have been deployed in the province on the request of the Punjab government to ensure law and order situation.

The Ministry of Interior’s summary has been forwarded to the federal cabinet for approval in this regard, he said.

He said that the TLP has become militant as its workers near Sadokhe have opened direct fire at armless police through Kalashnikov rifles and martyred three policemen and injured 70 others.

“Keeping in view the sensitivity of the situation, Punjab Rangers were deployed in the province under Section 4 (2) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, read with Article 147 of the Constitution and imposed section 5 of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATC) 1997 in the whole province,” he said, adding that the TLP has another agenda.

A notification issued by the government of Punjab says, “I am directed to convey the approval of government of Punjab under section 4(2) of ATC 1997 read with article 147 of constitution of Pakistan, 1973 to entrust powers to Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) in term of section 4(3 )(i) of ATC, 1997 within Punjab to prevent the commission of terrorist acts and scheduled offences under ATA 1997, to exercise powers of police officers provided in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPC), 1898 read with Section 5 of the ATC for a period of 60 days from October 27.”

Rasheed said that the government made efforts to resolve the issue through talks with the banned, TLP, and kept its word, but the TLP did not fulfil the promises it made with the committee.

However, he said that the door of dialogue is still open and also requested the TLP to end their protest and go back to Masjid Rahmatul-lil-Alameen and he will fulfil his promise.

He said that he had spoken to the TLP leadership at 3:30am last night and told them to look at the situation in the country as well as told them Pakistan was also facing external pressure.

Conspiracy has been hatched to impose sanction against Pakistan, he said. “I told them that the French ambassador is not even in Pakistan and we are not in the position to close French embassy even then they did not fulfil their commitment and continued march. This shows that they have another agenda.”

Rasheed said that the TLP leadership had committed that it would open both sides of road at Muredke but they did not open it.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed him to direct the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to take strict action against those spreading fake news with respect to ongoing protest and clashes on social media.

To a question, he said that he was never part of TLP nor attended their protest.

The TLP is banned in Pakistan and now it is feared that it may be banned internationally too, then Pakistan will not be able to intervene if such a thing happens.

When he was asked any move to ban this group completely, he said that consideration continued in that regard.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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