Saturday September 25, 2021

TLP calls off Lahore sit-in after govt puts French envoy's expulsion to vote in NA

National Assembly passes resolution to form special committee to discuss whether the French envoy must be expelled
Web Desk
April 20, 2021
Supporters of the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party gather as they block a street during a protest, in Lahore on April 18, 2021. — AFP/Arif Ali

After eight long days, the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) ended its sit-in outside Lahore's  Masjid Rehmatulil Alameen, considered to be the banned outfit's headquarters, as well as other places across the country.

The sit-in, which began on April 12 after the arrest of the banned outfit's chief Saad Rizvi, draws the curtains on a tragic week which saw the deaths and kidnapping of several policemen, injuries to hundreds in clashes between protesters and law enforcement, and road blockages as the protests spread to major cities of Pakistan.

According to Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, a final deal between the TLP and the government was struck today, following which the promise to present a resolution in parliament, to discuss whether or not the French envoy must be sent back, was fulfilled.

The TLP has demanded the French ambassador to Pakistan be expelled after French President Emmanuel Macron defended the right of Charlie Hebdo magazine to republish blasphemous cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The parliament passed a resolution today to form a special committee to discuss the matter of the expulsion and the debate will continue in the National Assembly on Friday.

Meanwhile, Shafiq Amini, who was leading the talks from the TLP side, made the announcement of the protest ending, with members of the shura (council) also present.

"The government made good on its promise by presenting the resolution in parliament," Amini said. "Now we do not need to protest any further."

He said protests in Lahore, as well as all other places, had been called off.

As the announcement was made, roads outside the site of the main sit-in in Lahore, were opened to traffic. The workers of the banned outfit began to disperse.

Speaking of the other demands put forth by the party to the government, Amini said there had been "positive" developments on those fronts as well.

He said the central leadership was reviewing all the progress made.

Amini called on all workers to keep the peace. He noted that through the use of false propaganda on social media, there is an attempt to incite violence.