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KARACHI: Religious figures on Saturday asked the government to shun its 'heavy-handed' approach to the protesting members of banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and meet the 'demands' of this right-wing religio-politico outfit.

The call was voiced by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman and known religious scholar Mufti Muhammad Muneeb ur Rehman jointly at a media talk held at the latter's seminary.

Both the leaders discussed the continuing protest by the TLP and the government's response to meeting their demands, of which the main one was to expel French Ambassador from Pakistan following France President, Emmanuel Macron publicly supported Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) blasphemy.

The continuing protest had taken several policemen's lives while the government has blocked main highways to deter the TLP protestors from entering the capital city of Islamabad.

Engr Naeem paid a visit to the Mufti Muhammad Muneeb ur Rehman's religious school in the metropolis and said that the government should honour its promises with the TLP, of which the main promise was the French diplomat's expulsion.

Engr Naeem told the media: "The government should have fulfilled its promises and released the TLP Chief Saad Rizvi as per the law, democratic norms and the constitution".

The government, he alleged, has betrayed the nation and the TLP leadership to please the global "masters", which is "unacceptable" to the religious parties.

The "undemocratic" tactics that the government employed to restrict the protest "by the lovers of the Holy Prophet (SAW) not only paralyzed the entire country but also created waves of unrest among the Muslims," he said.

"The JI believes in the right of peaceful protest," he said and also called upon the TLP protestors to stay peaceful. The authorities should place serious officials to negotiate with the TLP leadership for a peaceful solution to the continuing violent standoff, he suggested.

However, Mufti Muneeb confirmed to the media that the JI Chief, Sirajul Haq had seconded his views on the honour of the Holy Prophet (SAW). The government, he accused, has deceived the TLP leadership, dishonoured its own words, thrice, and misled the nation.

He said: "The clerics are the most patriotic segment of the society and are willing to help out the government but not to be used by the regime".

He warned the government of the consequence if did stay back from its heavy-handed plans against the protesting TLP, reminding it of the aftermath of Lal Masjid military operation in Islamabad by Gen. (retd.) Pervez Musharraf.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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