Govt-TLP agreement: Pindi breathes a sigh of relief as roads reopen after 12 days

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RAWALPINDI: Following an agreement with the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), the residents of Rawalpindi breathed a sigh of relief as the authorities opened all roads for traffic after a 12-day closure.

The containers and barricades have been removed from all roads between Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Meanwhile, Murri Road and Faizabad Interchange have been cleared for traffic. As life is returning to normalcy in the twin cities, the authorities have also restored the Metro Bus service in Rawalpindi.

In Gujranwala, the protesters are still present at Allah Wala Chowk in Wazirabad and all the educational institutes and markets near the venue will remain closed today (Monday). The Lahore-Islamabad portion of GT Road is also still closed for traffic and the authorities have yet to take any measures to fill the trench dug up near Chiragh Toll Plaza.

However, the barricades have been removed from the interior city and the road reading to Sialkot airport. Internet service was still suspended in Gujranwala as of Monday morning. 

Meanwhile, addressing the participants of a sit-in in Wazirabad, religious scholar and former chairman of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Mufti Muneeb urged the protesters to follow the directions of their leadership.

“We have to move wherever the leadership directs us,” said Mufti Muneeb. He said that the government has assured them of removing restrictions from the party. “It will take one week to remove the word banned from the TLP,” he added. Muneeb said that the government will implement the agreement signed with the TLP.

He said that they would vacate the GT Road under the agreement. Speaking on the occasion, Mufti Muneeb warned that they would return with full force if the government failed to implement the agreement.

One more policeman succumbs to his wounds

One more policeman, injured in clashes with the activists of proscribed TLP in Lahore, succumbed to his wounds on Monday morning.

According to the police, an angry mob had attacked ASI Abu Bakr and subjected him to severe torture when he was performing his duty in the Sadhoki area of Lahore a few days back. He belonged to Jhang and was recruited in the police force in 1990.

Since the proscribed TLP started its long march, at least five police officials have been martyred and scores of others from both sides received injuries in the clashes.

‘Agreement with govt a victory for Islam and Pakistan’

A day earlier, officials from the PTI government’s negotiating team had  held a press conference to update the public about their talks with the TLP.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser were present on behalf of the government at the press conference, while Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman was also present.

Rehman had started the news conference held in Islamabad, saying talks with the TLP have been “successful” and that an “agreement” had been reached.

Details of the agreement, however, he had said would be revealed at a “suitable time”. He had added that the positive outcomes of the agreement will be seen in the coming days.

He had said that the agreement reached with the government was not a victory or defeat of any individual, but a victory of Islam and Pakistan.

Rehman had shared that a steering committee has been constituted under the agreement which will be headed by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, while Mufti Ghulam Ghous Baghdadi from TLP will join the committee. He had said the committee will become active from today and start its work.

“The government of Pakistan and the TLP had a detailed discussion under an environment of mutual trust, and an agreement has been reached between the two sides,” Rehman had announced, clarifying that the talks did not take place under any duress or in an atmosphere of tension.

He had said that rationality had prevailed over sentimentalism and a consensus had been reached between the government and the proscribed TLP movement.

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