Demands action against those responsible
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed sorrow over the killing of seven people, including policemen, in violent incidents across the country.
Supporters of the Tekreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan clashed with the police for the third day on Wednesday. They demand the release of their leader who was arrested after calling for the French ambassador to be kicked out of the country.
In his statement, Bilawal said they could not allow attacks on and torture of police personnel. He demanded the government take action the ones involved in it.
“The police are not safe in the reign of the PTI government,” the PPP chairman said. “The government has pushed the country into a swamp.”
He called for the government to ensure best medical treatment of the wounded persons.
On Wednesday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed announced the government has decided to ban the TLP under the anti-terrorism law.
Supporters of the religious party took to the streets Monday afternoon after TLP Chief Saad Hussain Rizvi was arrested by the Lahore police. Main roads in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and other cities were blocked following this, and people were stuck in traffic for hours.
Related: Who is Saad Rizvi?
On Tuesday, thousands of protesters clashed with the police. Four people were killed during protests in Karachi’s Orangi and Korangi. A police officer in Lahore was killed during the demonstration while hundreds of others were injured.
The TLP is known for days-long road protests which have brought large swathes of the country to a standstill over the years.
The nation has a long history of avoiding confrontation with religious groups, fearing any crackdown on religious parties could spark wider violence in the country.
Rizvi is the son of a firebrand cleric and previous head of the TLP, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who died in November after leading massive anti-France demonstrations across Pakistan.
During those protests, TLP supporters brought the capital to a standstill for three days that saw heavy street fighting and pushed authorities to cut mobile phone coverage in Islamabad and surrounding areas.
The demonstrations ended after a meeting between the government and party leaders, who agreed to expel the French ambassador.