The government on Sunday said an agreement has been reached with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) after the latest round of dialogue between the two parties.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Federal Minister Ali Mohammad Khan flanked Mufti Muneeb at the presser.
According to Mufti Muneeb, TLP chief Saad Rizvi has also endorsed the agreement and said this agreement was not a “victory or defeat” of any group. “The agreement was reached after sense prevailed over aggression.”
He said a steering committee to implement the clauses of the agreement has been established that would be headed by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohammad Khan.
The delegations held a 12-hour-long meeting to settle the matter between the two sides successfully. He said it was fortunate that the agreement was reached before the situation got out of hand.
The cleric added that the details of the agreement have not been made public at present, but will be made public soon.
Muneeb said the “positive impact” of the agreement would be felt in the coming week as he called this settlement “in the best interest of Pakistan and its citizens”.
“This is the news for the entire nation, and the national media should portray it in a positive manner.” He also thanked all groups involved in negotiations.
“I am thankful to the prime minister for empowering the committee and trusting it, and also to the committee for working dedicatedly to resolve this matter,” he said, adding that the TLP exhibited the same attitude.
Earlier, the federal government had invited the members of TLP’s central committee to Islamabad after the first round of talks led by a delegation of clerics was said to have borne some success.
After multiple rounds of talks with the outfit failed, the government asked top clerics, belonging mostly to the Barelvi school of thought, to mediate between the TLP and the government.
The talks with the TLP through the clerics were successful, but they excused from becoming guarantors for either the TLP or the government.
The TLP chief, Saad Rizvi, had asked the 12-member negotiating committee to give the outfit a guarantee that the government would comply with the clauses of the agreement, whereas the government had asked the clerics to give assurance that the TLP would refrain from holding further protests.
Apparently the committee backed out saying the prime minister had strictly said that the matter of TLP detainees’ release can only be decided by the court since the cases are pending before it.
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However, the former chief of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneebur Rehman, who joined the dialogue on Saturday, agreed to become a guarantor of Rizvi.
Following Mufti Muneeb’s willingness, the government called in the shura members of the TLP to finalise the agreement facilitated by the clerics yesterday.
Following the meeting, a press conference will be held to share the details of the agreement. As per the new agreement, the TLP leadership will let go of their demand for the expulsion of the French envoy from Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the workers of the TLP are present in Wazirabad awaiting instructions from the party leadership. The rally had crossed Lahore and Gujranwala after bloody clashes with the Punjab Police that had left dozens, including at least seven policemen, dead.
A spokesperson of the TLP said the talks with the government were ongoing.
They urged against speculations on the issue. According to the spokesperson, it was too early to say anything about the outcome of the talks. They said the information regarding the dialogue would be shared by the party’s central committee.
It may be noted here that areas of Rawalpindi have been under lockdown since the start of the protests by the TLP, while cities along the GT Road – the route of the TLP march — have been sealed as well to stop marchers.