More than 800 workers of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) who were arrested after clashes with policemen have been released following the agreement between government and the group that was reached on Sunday. Punjab Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat on Tuesday confirmed the release of TLP workers.
Dawn quoted the minister as saying that the arrested individuals who have been released were those who were arrested during crackdowns and raids during the riots by the banned outfit. He said that their release was made after completion of ‘scrutiny’, and that those workers who have FIRs registered against them would not be released.
Earlier on Sunday night, Mufti Muneebur Rehman addressed the TLP protestors gathered in Wazirabad following the agreement signed with the government and said that the accord would be considered abolished if the government arrests any worker.
Raja Basharat also said that the government has not decided whether TLP workers who were taken into custody under Section 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) 1960 would also be set free.
The agreement between government and the banned groups whose details have not been made public was criticised by various quarters. On Monday, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar reacted to the undisclosed agreemen, saying that even a rented shop is not run the way important affairs in Pakistan are being handled.
He called on the government to make the agreement signed with the TLP public at the earliest and take the parliament into confidence. He lamented that the agreement was reached in the wee hours without informing the public.
The senator added that the people of Pakistan have a right to know that what was discussed with a banned group whose workers brought cities to a standstill and practiced violence.