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Pakistan revokes ban on TLP in ‘larger national interest’

ISLAMABAD – The federal government Saturday issued a notification to revoke the ban on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan ‘in the larger national interest’ following the secret deal with the group.

Reports in local media reported that the incumbent administration revoked the proscribed status of the right-wing party after TLP officials committed no more violent protests in the future.

The federal cabinet approved the interior ministry’s summary after the Punjab government proposed the de-proscription of the TLP. The politico-religious party got a clean chit from the federal authorities and cases lodged against activists were nullified while workers were released from jails.

Some media reports claimed that the Punjab government assured the release of its chief on Monday (today) while the workers are still holding a sit-in did not want to leave Wazirabad without the release of Rizvi.

The agreement that cleared the unrest is yet to be made public as the facilitators of the talks announced that it would be shared at an ‘appropriate time’.

Maulana Mufti Muneeb, Aqeel Dhedhi, and other noted personalities meet top civil-military leadership to ease the deadlock between the two sides. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser, and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan held talks with the TLP leadership from the state’s side.

Mufti Munib, who facilitated the deal, told the media that the agreement had the backing of detained TLP leader. Mufti Umair Al-Azhari, Allama Ghulam Abbas Faizi, and Hafiz Hafeez also participated in the negotiations from the TLP side.

The interior ministry also announced to restore TLP’s normal status after the cabinet approved the summary seeking its de-proscription.

On the recommendation of the Punjab Home Department, the party was earlier proscribed by the federal cabinet in April. The interior ministry outlawed the TLP on April 15 under Section 11-B (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997. Later, it was stated that party officials including Saad Rizvi was placed in the First Schedule under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Under the agreement, a steering committee headed by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan had also been formed to oversee the implementation of the deal.

The shrouded agreement comes after three days of violent protests in Lahore, the TLP also announced long march to Islamabad on Oct 22. Around seven police officials embraced martyred while dozens received injuries.

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