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Pakistan Govt Gives in to TLP's Demands, Agrees to Move Resolution to Expel French Ambassador

File photo of Pakistan PM Imran Khan. (Reuters)

File photo of Pakistan PM Imran Khan. (Reuters)

Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Tuesday announced that the government has reached an agreement with the TLP to move the resolution.

Day after declaring the Tehreek-e-Labiak-Pakistan as a terror outfit and banning its activities across the country, the Imran Khan-led PTI government on Tuesday agreed to move a resolution in the National Assembly for the removal of the French Ambassador from the country.

Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Tuesday announced that the government has reached an agreement with the TLP to move the resolution.

“After a long meeting between the government of Pakistan and the TLP, it has been decided that the government of Pakistan would move a resolution in the National Assembly for the expulsion of the French Ambassador (from Pakistan),” Rashid said.

Rashid added that in exchange the TLP has agreed to suspend it agitation across Pakistan after the government also agreed to the demand of withdrawing the cases filed against the TLP leadership and release those who have been arrested during the ongoing protests across Pakistan.

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“The cases will be withdrawn and those arrested would be released”, he said, adding that the discussion between the two parties will continue in the coming days.

On April 14, Rashid had announced the banning of the TLP under the Anti-Terrorism act 1997 rule 11B Tehreek, following which various banned terror outfits, including Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan, had come in open support of the TLP.

Pakistan has been witnessing large-scale violence for the past one week in which several people have been killed and many others injured after the TLP announced a nationwide protest against the government’s inability to expel the French Ambassador.

The members of the TLP had held hostage several senior officers in the police and the Pakistan Rangers in Multan and Lahore.

The TLP, a fundamentalist Islamist outfit, was founded by hardliner leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Recently, it has been demanding the expulsion of the French Ambassador from Pakistan over French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Islam.

The new TLP chief, Saad Rizvi, who had given April 20 as the deadline for the expulsion of the French ambassador, was arrested on Monday, following which violent protests broke out across several major cities in Pakistan.

Several videos had also emerged where Pakistan soldiers were seen demanding Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s support to the agitation and declare Martial Law across the nation.

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first published:April 20, 2021, 15:04 IST