A team formed by the government will hold talks with the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) whose members are marching to Islamabad to seek the outfit’s chief Saad Rizvi’s release. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid chaired a meeting in Lahore in this regard.
Earlier on Friday, three policemen embraced martyrdom and more than 40 were injured in clashes with the TLP rioters in Lahore.
Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri over the phone today and discussed the emerging law and order situation in the country amid the banned outfit’s protests. The minister came to Lahore from Karachi on the PM’s instructions to negotiate with the group. Others who are part of the government’s three member team include Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad and Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Raja Basharat.
Qadri said that the government wanted to resolve the issue through talks, and that it is determined to protect the lives and properties of the citizens.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed had gone to the UAE to watch Indo-Pakistan T20 match, but the PM directed him to come back to the country in light of the situation.
Earlier on Friday, Punjab police department spokesperson confirmed the killing of three policemen at the hands of TLP rioters. The banned group’s workers crashed their cars into two policemen who were trying to stop them, causing severe injuries to both. The wounded cops were taken to a nearby hospital where they succumbed to their injuries. A third policeman was martyred in a separate clash with the banned outfit’s workers.
The TLP began its long march to Islamabad from Lahore. The capital city’s authorities blocked roads ahead of the extremist group’s arrival in the city. Metro bus service in Rawalpindi was suspended in light of the planned long march.