Govt team to negotiate with banned outfit on PM's directives today

Web Desk
October 23, 2021

Noorul Haq Qadri arrives in Lahore to hold negotiations with banned outfit's leadership

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Religious Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri,Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad andPunjab Law Minister Muhammad Raja Basharat. Photo: file

ISLAMBAD: In line with the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, a three-member government team will negotiate with the leadership of a banned outfit today (Saturday) in Lahore who had threatened to hold a long march towards Islamabad.

Two policemen were martyred in Lahore Friday night after a couple of cars collided during a protest by the banned outfit. Clashes between police and members of the outlawed outfit also resulted in over 40 cops getting injured.

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri today to discuss the prevailing law and order situation. Talks between the two focused on the banned outfit's protests.

On the directives of the prime minister, Noorul Haq Qadri arrived in Lahore from Karachi to hold negotiations with the banned outfit's leadership.

The government’s negotiation team will comprise Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Religious Minister Noorul Haq Qadri and Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Raja Basharat.

"The government believes in resolving issues through dialogue," said Qadri, adding that protecting the lives and properties of the people is the government's top priority.

Earlier, PM Imran Khan had also directed Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad to return to the country from the UAE, where he had gone to watch India-Pakistan's high-voltage T20 World Cup clash.

Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi partially shut down

A day earlier, authorities had suspended the Metro Bus service in Rawalpindi and blocked roads in Islamabad and Lahore as the government braced for protests organised separately by a banned outfit and Opposition parties in the above-mentioned cities.

The Ministry of Interior had written to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend internet services in various areas of Lahore due to a banned outfit's protest.

The provincial government had subsequently suspended internet services around Multan Road, Grand Battery Stop, Iqbal Town, Nawankot, Samanabad and Sabzazar areas of Lahore.

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