The minister’s remarks came as fresh violence erupted between law enforcers and TLP supporters near Sadhoke in Punjab’s Gujranwala district…reports Asian Lite News
Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Wednesday that the Rangers were being called in to maintain law and order in the Punjab province for 60 days after recent clashes with the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Dawn reported.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the minister said a summary in this regard has been sent to the Federal Cabinet for approval. However, he still requested the group to end their protest.
The minister’s remarks came as fresh violence erupted between law enforcers and TLP supporters near Sadhoke in Punjab’s Gujranwala district on Wednesday. At least four policemen were killed and dozens injured.
Shortly before the Interior Minister’s press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry categorically said that the TLP will not be allowed to challenge the writ of the state and will be treated as a “militant” group and not a religious party, the report said.
Speaking to the media in Islamabad after Chaudhry’s press conference, Rashid said that the group had “another agenda”. “So I am authorising Punjab govt to call in Rangers.”
He said that he had spoken to the banned group at 3.30 a.m. last night and told them to look at the situation in the country. “I told them that the French Ambassador is not even in Pakistan. This shows that they have another agenda.”
‘TLP used Kalashnikovs, AK 47’
TLP protesters used Kalashnikovs and AK 47 against policemen in Gujranwala, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed has alleged.
“Yesterday, I had warned that foreign powers want to impose sanctions on Pakistan,” Rasheed said. “The TLP has turned into a militant organisation as its members had opened fire on policemen using Kalashnikovs”, The News reported.
Pakistan Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said several people joined the protesters with AK-47s in their hands.
He asked the proscribed organisation to not underestimate the state’s writ, as the government had waited long enough.
“The TLP is banned in Pakistan and now it is feared that it may be banned internationally too,” Rasheed warned, adding that Pakistan won’t be able to intervene if such a thing happens.
The TLP has claimed that several of its workers have been injured in the clashes, Friday Times reported.
On Friday, three policemen were killed while several others injured in Lahore in clashes with rioters belonging to the TLP. Two policemen, identified as Ayub and Khalid, were crushed to death by vehicles of workers who were part of the banned outfit’s ongoing protest.
TLP workers crashed two cars into the policemen who were trying to stop them, causing severe injuries to both, the report said.
The TLP began its long march to Islamabad from Lahore on Friday, but continued its talks with the government. The capital city’s authorities blocked roads ahead of the extremist group’s arrival in the city. Metro bus service in Rawalpindi was suspended in light of the planned long march. Last night, the banned outfit’s leaders announced that the long march would be resumed in the morning.
The government has summoned the Punjab Rangers to maintain law and order in the province, Sheikh Rasheed announced on Wednesday amid the ongoing protests staged by the TLP.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Rasheed said Pakistan was facing a lot of pressure and wanted to establish peace in the country.