Roads in Islamabad, Lahore reopen
The government, in an attempt to prevent a long march on Islamabad, released more than 350 workers of the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan Sunday.
“We have released 350 TLP workers up to now and we are still waiting to open both sides road of Muridke as per the decision with TLP,” Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed tweeted. Earlier, on October 24, he revealed that cases against supporters of proscribed organisation will be withdrawn.
We have released 350 TLP workers up to now and we are still waiting to open the both sides Road of Muridke as per the decision with TLP— Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (@ShkhRasheed) October 24, 2021
The government has also assured the TLP leaders that they are reviewing the names of the workers placed on the Fourth Schedule, including the party founder’s heir Saad Rizvi who was jailed earlier this year.
In a press conference Sunday, Rasheed said that the negotiations were underway for eight hours. Another round of TLP-government talks will be held at the Interior Ministry today (Monday, October 25). The protesters, on the other hand, will stay at the Muridke till Tuesday but won’t march towards the capital, he added.
A TLP spokesperson, on the other hand, told SAMAA Digital that their sit-in will continue till Wednesday. He confirmed that their workers have been released by the police, but didn’t specify a number. “They were beaten up and tortured but neither an FIR nor a case has been registered against them.”
In the last few days, 16 cases were registered against TLP workers across Lahore. The Punjab government has reportedly placed the names of over 200 protesters on the Fourth Schedule. According to the National Counter Terrorism Authority, an individual about whom either there is credible intelligence information or who has a history of being linked to a banned organisation can be proscribed by the Home Department of a province and can be subjected to restrictions on travel, speech, and business, under the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997.
On Sunday, the administrations of the twin cities removed barricades and containers in the city placed to stop the protesters from entering the cities. Consequently, traffic resumed to normal in the twin cities with citizens expressing sighs of relief.
The Murree Road has been opened from the Orchard Scheme in Islamabad to the Faizabad interchange between the two cities. Barricades on Islamabad Expressway at Kak Pul have also been removed. Authorities were also opening the roads leading to the IJP Road.
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri has assured that there would be no further clashes between the police and protesters.
TLP supporters had three major demands: the expulsion of the French ambassador, the release of arrested supporters, and the release of Saad Rizvi. On Sunday, Rasheed said that the matter of the convoy will be taken to the National Assembly.
Three police officers were martyred and dozens injured in a clash with TLP supporters Friday. A statement released by the police revealed that the police officers were stationed near the Katcheri Chowk. They were hit by a TLP vehicle, a spokesperson of the Punjab police said.
A TLP spokesperson, on the other hand, claimed that three of their supporters have been killed in the clashes with the law enforcers. We will take the bodies to Islamabad with the long march, he said.
The proscribed organisation began marching on Islamabad Friday. The party’s central council been demanding the government release Saad Hussain Rizvi, the chief of the defunct TLP. He was arrested earlier in the year for inciting violence.