TLP protest: Imran meets Ulemas to seek help

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The group of around 25 ulemas was headed by Sunni Ittehad chairperson Sahibzada Hamid Raza…reports Asian Lite News.

Amid the ongoing protest by the banned Islamist group Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday met religious leaders to seek their help in settling the matter.

The group of religious leaders, from the Barelvi sect, will assist the Pakistan government to figure out a middle ground in negotiations with the banned organisations. The meeting will be held at Bani Gala in Islamabad, Samaa TV reported.

The group of around 25 ulemas was headed by Sunni Ittehad chairperson Sahibzada Hamid Raza.

The meeting follows several days of unsuccessful negotiations between the TLP and the Imran Khan government.

Meanwhile, after meeting with Khan, the religious leaders will also meet TLP’s Saad Rizvi after the discussion, Samaa TV reported.

In the past few days, several clashes have been reported including one outside Lahore, after TLP tried to resume its march on Islamabad to pressurise the government to accept its demands.

At least four policemen were killed and over 250 injured during the clashes on Wednesday. During a press conference, Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday had said the government has decided that the TLP would no more be dealt with as a political party but as a militant organisation.

Hundreds of TLP workers had taken to the streets throughout the country last week to exert pressure on the government for the release of its chief Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi.

TLP goes ahead despite warning

Meanwhile, despite the empty warning of the Interior Minister of Pakistan Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday of calling off the march or facing consequences, TLP resumed its protest march from Gujranwala to Islamabad on Friday.

The police expected the encounter to happen with the TLP at two major security points that have been put up at the only route to Islamabad via Chenab and Jhelum rivers, reported Dawn citing a police official.

The official further informed that the Rangers would be placed on the way besides the assistance of the Punjab Police. The deployment of hundreds of Rangers and police personnel were made at the Chenab toll plaza, according to the Dawn.

The arrangements of the armoured vehicles along with riot gear have also been made, the newspaper reported citing the police sources.

A ‘red line’ was marked about 500 metres from the Chenab toll plaza and a notice was put up warning the protestors against breaching the line.

“Attention: Beyond this line, the responsibility for law and order lies with Pakistan Rangers (Punjab), who have been given the authority to open fire at the miscreants. All the people are strictly warned to return to their homes,” read the banner as reported by Dawn.

Meanwhile, commending the protest by TLP, the President of PML-N, Shehbaz Sharif said, “When you undermine a legitimately and genuinely elected prime minister representing the will of the nation and attack parliament for petty political gains, you open the floodgates for chaos and anarchy,” reported Dawn.

Earlier, Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) on Thursday to discuss the concerning situation stemming from protests by the outlawed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), reported local media.

Pakistan’s ministers, national security adviser and the services and intelligence chiefs attended the meet and discussed the TLP protests, said ARY News.

The country’s top body of civil and military leaders also discussed matters related to national security apart from the protests.

Imran Khan meets Ulemas to seek help in settling TLP protest (ANI)

The government is holding talks with TLP’s imprisoned chief Saad Hussain Rizvi, as protests have created chaos in Punjab cities. But the second round of the talks concluded without any progress, as the deadlock persists between the TLP and the Pakistan government.

The two sides are expected to begin the third round of talks on Saturday, ARY News reported citing sources.

A spokesperson for the TLP had said that the proscribed organisation stands by its demands that it will present before the government.

“Our only demand from day one is the removal of the French ambassador,” added the spokesperson, according to The News International.

On Saturday, at least three Pakistani policemen were killed and several others suffered injuries in clashes with workers of the banned Islamist group and police personnel in Lahore when hundreds of TLP workers had taken to the streets throughout the country last week to exert pressure on the government for the release of its leader Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi. (ANI)

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