ISLAMABAD: The banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on Monday called off their march to the capital and ended its occupation of a major highway after reaching a deal with the government.
Following more than a week of clashes that left at least four policemen dead and several others injured, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Sunday claimed to have reached an ‘agreement’ with the group but did not reveal any details.
The banned TLP was protesting over the detention of its leader Saad Rizvi, arrested in April, and was demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador from Pakistan. Several thousand supporters had begun a march from Lahore to Islamabad earlier in October.
“We have called off our march to Islamabad after reaching an agreement with the government,” Sajjad Saifi, a spokesperson for the TLP, told AFP.
“Our supporters have moved to the nearby park and until 50 per cent of terms are fulfilled we will stay here,” Saifi added.
TLP sit-in moved to Wazirabad
Following the government-TLP agreement, the main arteries of Punjab have been cleared for traffic as protestors of the banned outfit shifted its sit-in to an open ground in Wazirabad.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammed Khan, who is also heading the steering committee formed for the implementation of the agreement between the two parties, in a series of tweets on Monday “appreciated the TLP leadership” for honouring their commitment.
“Congratulations, GT ROAD Cleared,” said Khan while announcing on Twitter that major roads blocked earlier by protesters were now cleared.
“TLP Dharna shifted from GT Road to an open ground in Wazirabad away from traffic as per the agreement,” he tweeted and added that traffic flow was also normal.
“Implementation of road clearance as per agreement done. MashaALLAH. Zafar Ali Khan Chowk to ALLAH HU Chowk also cleared,” he apprised sharing a video of the location where protestors had staged a sit-in earlier.
After 11 days of the protest, Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad was also opened on Monday.
Khan said, “The first meeting of the steering committee on [the] implementation of the TLP agreement had concluded at the Parliament House.” The meeting discussed modalities of implementation of the agreement, he maintained.
“The second meeting of the steering committee will be held in Lahore on Monday to speed up the implementation process,” Khan continued on Twitter.
He said that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan was fully committed to implement the agreement in letter and spirit for the peace, tranquillity, stability and prosperity of Pakistan.
Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, the former chairman of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee who also facilitated talks between the two sides, told protesters that the ban on the party would soon be lifted, according to AFP.