The wrong one was signed, says PTI leader
Faisal Vawda of the PTI has made the incredible claim that Prime Minister Imran Khan did not know about the agreement the government signed with the now banned militant Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan or TLP in February 2021.
"For any problem you have two solutions: one is at the table and the other is to fight," said Vawda. "There is no third way."
His remarks came Wednesday night on Nadeem Malik Live's show at 9pm as the government declared the TLP a banned militant outfit. It called in the Rangers to Punjab after three policemen were killed and 70 others injured in clashes with the TLP protestors.
The TLP was formed in 2015 with the agenda of taking up blasphemy issues. It started protesting in 2017 over a parliamentary oath-taking, then over Asia Noreen's case, and in 2019 the publication of caricatures in France. The 2019 protest has spilled into this year. The party was banned in April and its leader Saad Rizvi was arrested over inciting violence. The militant group now wants him to be released, their workers' names to be taken off the Fourth Schedule and for the French ambassador expelled.
The government has undertaken three 'agreements' with the TLP: Nov 27, 2017, Nov 16, 2020 and the latest Jan 11, 2021. Nadeem Malik was asking Faisal Vawda about the government's position on such agreements.
"Have you picked the fight option," he asked.
"I still think that the option of fighting is wrong," said Vawda.
"Your interior minister signed the agreement which mentioned the expulsion of the French ambassador," Nadeem Malik asked. "With what authority did your government sign that agreement?"
"TLP's top leadership, including his son Saad Rizvi, will also tell you... first, that agreement was a wrong agreement that was signed."
Nadeem Malik then pressed Vawda to explain the government's rationale given the potential diplomatic fallout that could have resulted from it making the promise to throw out an ambassador by giving in to pressure from a militant group. "Where was the State's intent when that agreement was signed that it would expel the ambassador?" asked Nadeem Malik. "Did it not know what the EU would do with us, if that were the case? What the US would think about it, how the West would perceive it? What was the government thinking when it did this? They were ministers representing the federal government."
Faisal Vawda then made the incredible assertion that Prime Minister Imran Khan was in the dark about these developments.
"The PM was not informed. The PM's consent was not in this."