Pakistan government decides to permanently ban TLP

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Pakistan government decides to permanently ban TLP

ISLAMABAD – The federal government has decided to impose a ban on the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan under the anti-terrorism law, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed announced on Wednesday.

At a press conference in federal capital, Rasheed said that the interior ministry has decided to deal sternly with everyone taking the law into their hands on the request of the Punjab government.

Vowing to ensure the writ of the state at all costs, he said that motorways, GT Road, and other major arteries have been reopened for traffic.

"Keeping in view, the religio-political party’s recent activities including abduction of law enforcers, and destroying of public property has led the federal government to ban TLP under Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, (11) B," the minister said at the presser. A summary is being forwarded to Federal Cabinet for approval in this regard, he added.

At least two security personnel embraced martyrdom while hundreds were injured during the deadly clashes, he continued, while the party’s workers also tried to take a number of policemen hostage to force the government to budge.

The minister further warned that authorities will not take back any cases against violent activists. He also urged activists to surrender themselves before law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protests subsided in most areas of the country, with sporadic clashes reported in some cities.

So far, at least seven people have been killed while hundreds of security personnel and protesters injured in violent clashes for a third consecutive day on Wednesday.

Police constables Ali Imran and Muhammad Afzal succumbed after they came under mob attacks amid fierce clashes. Nearly 100 police officers and personnel were injured in the clashes erupted hours after authorities arrested the party head, Saad Hussain Rizvi, in Lahore.

Rizvi's party wants the government to boycott French products and expel the French ambassador under an agreement signed by the government with Rizvi’s party in February.

The violent protests come days after Rizvi in a statement asked the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to honor what he said was a commitment it made to his TLP to expel the French envoy before April 20 over the publication in France of depictions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

However, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government says it only committed to discussing the matter in Parliament.