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Pakistan

Federal cabinet approves summary seeking TLP's de-proscription

  • Decision comes barely days after the government declared TLP a militant organisation
Published November 6, 2021 Updated November 7, 2021
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The federal cabinet approved on Saturday the summary requesting the centre to end the proscribed status of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), reported Aaj News on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, the Interior Ministry had sent the summary to the federal cabinet seeking its approval for the revocation of TLP's proscribed status.

Punjab cabinet asks federal govt to end TLP's proscribed status

The move comes barely days after the government had declared the banned TLP a "militant organisation" for creating unrest in the country after a series of violent clashes.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry had said then that the government had decided to consider the already-banned group as a "militant organisation"

“We have taken a clear policy decision that the banned TLP will now be considered a militant organisation,” he said.

“We will not treat them as a political organisation anymore,” he emphasised.

However, as talks progressed, the Punjab government has taken a different view. It has so far released more than 1,000 workers as part of the agreement with the TLP.

In a related development, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore today granted bail to several leaders of the TLP in several cases registered against them.

The cases were registered after violent clashes between the police and TLP workers last month in Lahore during which at least three policemen were killed and several others were injured.

Punjab home dept recommends removing TLP's proscribed status

Reliable sources told Business Recorder that roughly over 1,000 TLP men incarcerated in different jails and police lockups have so far been released in Punjab while the process to release others, except detained under section-7 of the anti-terrorism act, was still underway.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, who is leading the government’s negotiating team, while updating about the federal government’s steering committee measures said in a tweet that the implementation of the government-TLP agreement was in process at a fast pace. He said the TLP workers in “government custody” were being released.

It may be mentioned that the government started releasing the TLP supporters a day after Ali Muhammad Khan held two back-to-back steering committee meetings in Lahore to review measures how the government could go ahead and implement the secret agreement.

When contacted, Punjab Inspector General for Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig told Business Recorder that a total of 836 supporters of the banned TLP had been released from jails till evening.

Lahore ATC grants bail to several TLP leaders in multiple cases

“As the release process in underway and I am frequently receiving (updated) figures, I cannot tell an exact figure at this moment. But so far 836 TLP supporters have been released from jails,” he said. To a question, the IG said some TLP men were referred to jails while some were at police stations and compilation of data would take time.

When asked about the expected release of incarcerated TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi, IG Prison said he had no information about it; as neither any government officer nor any minister informed him about the government’s decision in this regard. “I was not part of the government-TLP talks.”

On Sunday, Mufti Munibur Rehman, who facilitated the talks along with some other religious leaders, had said at a presser that they have reached an agreement with the TLP, contents of which will be disclosed at an “appropriate time”. He, however, said its “positive results” would be visible to the nation next week or during the next 10 days. He then used an English proverb “action speaks louder than words” to justify the move to keep details of the deal secret.

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