ISLAMABAD: Federal government, Sunday, announced it had reached an agreement with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to end a 10-day standoff with the latter but did not share the details of the agreement.
"The details of the agreement would be shared at an appropriate time," said noted cleric Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, at a joint presser with Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Parliamentary Affairs State Minister Ali Muhammad Khan. TLP leaders Ghulam Abbas Faizi and Mufti Muhammad Umair were also present.
"This agreement is not the victory or defeat of anybody. It's the victory of the sanctity of human lives," he added. The negotiations were not held in an atmosphere of tension or 'coercion'. Instead, meaningful negotiations were held in serious and conducive environment, Rehman asserted.
"A Steering Committee has been set up under the leadership of Ali Muhammad Khan for the implementation of agreement," he said. The committee comprises Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, as well as, secretary interior, Punjab home secretary, and Mufti Ghulam Ghaus Baghdadi and Engineer Hafizullah Qalbi.
"The committee starts working from today," added Rehman, the former chairman Rueet-e-Hilal Committee. He thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for the formation of a high-powered special committee to deal with the TLP sit-in. "We worked for 12 to 13 hours a day to reach this agreement," Rehman added.
Speaking at the presser, Foreign Minister Qureshi said, the National Security Committee (NSC) decided to prefer peace over use of force. "There was an atmosphere of chaos- the nation was trapped in panic and fear-people were getting injured-there was violence and properties were getting destroyed. It was necessary to bring an end to all that," Qureshi said.
He thanked Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Maulana Bashir Farooqui, Sahibzada Hamid Raza and Sarwat Ijaz Qadri for playing a role in resolving the matter. Later, speaking to journalists, Muneeb-ur-Rehman avoided questions related to the details of the agreement.
"I cannot confirm or deny anything at this point. When the time comes, you will get to know everything," he responded, when asked by Business Recorder whether release of TLP chief Saad Rizvi and expulsion of French envoy were part of the agreement.
"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," he said.
The federal government and the TLP were locked in a deadly standoff over the last 10 days after the proscribed organisation announced to launch a grand march from Lahore to Islamabad in pursuit of its demands, which, the TLP said, were part of a previous government-TLP agreement that was allegedly not honoured by the government.
At least four policemen were said to have lost their lives in clashes with TLP activists. The government had installed large containers and barricades in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala, Jhelum and other parts to block TLP march which caused enormous inconvenience to public. However, the TLP sit-in continued for third consecutive day in Wazirabad, a city in Gujranwala district, when the agreement was reached on Sunday.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021