LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: The government has started implementation of the secretive agreement with the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), with reports suggesting that it has released more than 860 supporters of the party arrested across Punjab under the deal.
Implementation of the agreement started after the Monday’s meeting of the steering committee formed by Prime Minister Imran Khan to work out how the deal would be executed.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan chaired the meeting. It was attended by Punjab Minister for Law Raja Basharat, secretaries of the federal interior ministry, additional chief secretary of the Punjab Home Department, other officials, as well as some members of the TLP.
According to the Punjab Home Department, 860 persons who were not facing any formal charges have been released across Punjab. The meeting also decided to withdraw its appeal filed against the release of the TLP chief Saad Rizvi. The government had earlier challenged the order of a Lahore High Court (LHC) bench regarding Rizvi’s release.
The Punjab Home Department has issued order to release 1,860 prisoners of the TLP who were detained under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) 1960.
The Home Department said that 1860 persons were ordered to be released in two phases in one day. It said that more people were ordered to be released on the recommendation of the steering committee. Earlier, 860 people arrested from across Punjab were released.
This development came days after the government and the banned TLP reached an agreement to end the 10-day long march.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that during the cabinet meeting, the prime minister barred the members from discussing the issue of banned TLP and said that it was a sensitive issue and a steering committee had been formed to look into the matter. Only Ali Muhammad Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi would talk to media on the issue.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said during the meeting that matters were being resolved amicably. The prime minister also instructed the federal ministers on the issue of the Election Commission and said that other ministers should go to the Election Commission along with Fawad Chaudhry and Azam Swati. He also emphasised that all the ministers should have one voice on issues.
Imran Khan is expected to take the nation into confidence today (Wednesday) on the secretive deal that the government had struck with the TLP. The prime minister is expected to speak to the nation about the current economic, security, and political situation in the country, sources said.
On the other hand, according to media reports, the Chenab River bridge was still closed, while the routes of Jhelum reopened. Traffic on GT Road remained suspended even after end to the sit-in of the proscribed organisation. However, train service, offices and educational institutions resumed activities.
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