The move comes after protests from Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, which called for the expulsion of the French envoy, resulted in the deaths of two police officers.
Islamabad, Pakistan – The Pakistani government will take action to ban the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which has staged days of violent protests across the country resulting in the deaths of at least two police officers, the Pakistani government said. Minister of the Interior of the country.
TLP protests continued in pockets across the country on Wednesday, with Home Secretary Sheikh Rasheed confirming that at least two police officers had been killed and more than 340 injured by protesters in the past 48 hours.
“Today we have decided to ban the TLP, and this dossier is going to cabinet for approval from today,” Rasheed said at a press conference in the capital, Islamabad.
In a subsequent tweet, he said the ban would be issued under Pakistani counterterrorism legislation.
Rasheed said protesters abducted police from several areas during the protests, but all law enforcement personnel have now been recovered.
The TLP, a religious group founded by the late Muslim leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, has made the issue of perceived “blasphemy” its rallying cry, and has been acting since November for the expulsion of the French ambassador and ban on all French products by the way. by French President Emmanuel Macron last year.
He called off a large sit-in protest that blocked a main highway in the capital Islamabad in November after reaching an agreement with the government to consider his demands.
Arrest of TLP leader
In February, he threatened further protests if the government did not comply with his demands, but government negotiators were able to secure an extension of the deadline for action.
On Monday, however, before the new April 20 deadline, police arrested TLP leader Saad Rizvi, son of party founder Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who died of natural causes shortly after the November protests.
The arrest sparked days of unrest, with thousands of TLP supporters launching protests and blocking roads and highways across the country. Video footage of protests in Karachi, Lahore and elsewhere shows violent clashes between police and protesters.
Home Secretary Rasheed accused TLP leaders of negotiating in bad faith with the government on a planned parliamentary resolution on the blasphemy issue.
“Until the last moment, our objective was to prepare a draft resolution to present to the assembly with their agreement,” he said.
“But all of our efforts have failed and one of the main reasons [this] was that they wanted to come to Faizabad chowk [to hold a protest] no matter what.”
Rasheed said the TLP was seeking a resolution “which would mean [diplomats from] European countries… should all leave the country ”.
“We want[ed] a project that will raise the flag of the Prophet high … but what [the TLP] want to[ed], it will create a perception in the world that we are an extremist country, ”he said.
Police operations to erase the remaining protests in parts of Lahore and Faisalabad continued on Wednesday.