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ISLAMABAD: Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is said to have agreed to withdraw from its demand regarding the expulsion of French envoy from Pakistan- in return of being allowed to function as a political party with the removal of ban on it.

Although, both the government and TLP leadership were tight-lipped, till the filing of this report on Sunday evening, regarding the details of the agreement reached between federal government and TLP, renowned cleric Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman has indicated that the TLP would function as a political party in future-implying that ban on it would be removed by the federal government.

He was among the delegates who were actively engaged in negotiations between TLP and government.

"Soon, Allah willing, you would see Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan as an active political party-under the ambit of the Constitution of Pakistan and the law," Rehman told the journalists after holding a joint presser along with government officials and TLP leaders on Sunday, wherein he announced that the agreement between both the sides had been reached.

A source close to Rehman told Business Recorder that TLP had demanded that it should be allowed to operate as a regular political party and ban imposed on it by the Interior Ministry should be removed.

The government has accepted this demand, the source said.

"This is the reason Mufti Muneeb has been hopeful that the TLP would be soon be out in public as a political party," the source said.

"The French envoy is not in Pakistan, which gives TLP a reason to soften its stance," the insider said.

When asked by Business Recorder, Muneeb-ur-Rehman refused to share details whether release of TLP chief Saad Rizvi and expulsion of French envoy were part of the agreement.

"I cannot confirm or deny anything at this point. When the time comes, you will get to know everything," he said.

Business Recorder also tried to contact central TLP leaders Waheed Noor and Hafeezullah Alvi on their personal phones for their comments on the matter but they were not available.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, when approached, gave a brief reply. "I was not directly involved in the negotiations leading to this agreement. So, I won't say anything," he said and dropped the phone call.

Although, the TLP is presently banned by federal government, it is still registered as a political party with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The TLP continues to field its candidates in different by-elections of national and provincial legislatures and its candidates received thousands of votes even after the ban. The ECP is yet to receive any official correspondence from federal government regarding banning TLP from the list of political parties registered with ECP.

The ECP can ban or de-list any political party only if ordered by the Supreme Court to do so, ECP sources told Business Recorder.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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