ISLAMABAD: As the protesters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) have already started march towards Islamabad to press the government for their demand, top of which is expulsion of the French ambassador, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary on Friday issued a stark warning to miscreants to return home or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
Speaking at a presser here, he said soon after a hurriedly called meeting of an all-important National Security Committee (NSC), he said “the state’s restraint should not be seen as a sign of weakness”.
“I’m telling the protestors to return home. I am telling their families to call their people home. The state will not stop at anything to establish its writ,” he warned.
Chaudhry warned that no mob could stand up to the state, adding the government would be taking all possible measures to quell any further mischief.
“The civilian and military leadership are like one clenched fist on this issue,” he declared.
The minister said the state did not wish for blood to be shed in the streets, and asked the proscribed outfit’s members to return home.
He said the government would not accept any demands put forth via blackmail and said the state had asked even the TTP to sit on the negotiation table.
The minister reiterated that protesters should not consider the state “weak”, reminding them that Pakistan had defeated terrorist organisations before.
He said the NSC had resolved to back the police force and the state would not tolerate that mockery for long.
However, he said that talks with the banned TLP would take place within the ambit of the constitution and the law.
“We will not surpass our judicial system. All decisions will be made according to our judicial system,” he added.
However, he reiterated that the first condition of the dialogue was that all negotiations took place according to the constitution.
Fawad also said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was the only leader who had taken practical steps to tackle the issue of Islamophobia globally.
“How is it possible that you bring a group and ask that your demands be fulfilled?” he asked in reference to the TLP’s leadership that had demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador from Pakistan.
“The negotiations do not mean that whatever you say has to be fulfilled,” he said, adding that was not how it worked as nothing was going to come out of the confrontation.
Fawad stressed that the entire political leadership was standing behind the country’s law enforcement agencies.
“We believe that the work done by the law enforcement agencies for Pakistan’s stability is commendable,” he said.
The information minister said the TLP’s social media was getting massive support from India.
“We don’t want to see bloodshed on streets. We want to resolve issues peacefully,” he repeated.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021