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Govt, TLP agreement to be brought to parliament: minister

In 2020, the govt agreed to expel the French ambassador

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 9, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago
Posted: Apr 9, 2021 | Last Updated: 7 months ago

Pakistan’s Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri said on Friday that the PTI government would soon take its 2020 agreement with Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan to parliament.

“We talked about bringing this matter to parliament and it will be brought to the parliament,” Qadri said, referring to a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other ministers two days ago.

In its agreement with the right-wing Barelvi group, the government negotiators had agreed to expel the French ambassador from Pakistan with “consensus from parliament” after the TLP staged a protest in Islamabad over the publication of blasphemous caricatures in a French magazine.

“This issue will be resolved with parliament’s consultation and assistance,” Qadri told SAMAA TV.

“It is parliament’s authority whether they consider it right or wrong,” the minister said, when asked if the French ambassador would be expelled from Pakistan.

Where did the TLP come from?

The TLP is the political face of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR), which was formed in 2016 after Mumtaz Qadri, the convicted murderer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was executed. The group demands death for blasphemers and strict implementation of its version of Islamic law in the country.

The group first emerged in Punjab as Tehreek-e-Rehai-e-Mumtaz Qadri (movement for Mumtaz Qadri’s release) in 2015 and was later renamed the TLYR.

Months before the 2018 elections, the TLP staged a 21-day sit-in at the Faizabad interchange in Islamabad against a minor change in the oath taken by the lawmakers.

The sit-in ended after the military acted as a mediator and the PML-N government had to remove its law minister, Zahid Hamid.

Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the incumbent ISI DG, had signed the agreement between the PML-N government and the TLP as a guarantor.

In November, the group once again marched towards Islamabad and this time it wanted the French ambassador expelled from Pakistan over the publication of blasphemous caricatures in a French magazine, and against the country’s president Emmanuel Macron for his anti-Islam remarks.

In background conversations with SAMAA Digital in the past, mainstream political parties, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, had accused the military of launching Rizvi’s group to dent its vote bank in Punjab.

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