National Security Committee decides to continue talks with TLP

Sheikh Rasheed says new round of talks with TLP likely tonight: PM Imran Khan to address the nation: ISI DG briefs huddle about protesters' contacts with terrorists: Sheikh Rashid says state’s writ will be established at all cost

By: News Desk      Published: 12:46 PM, 29 Oct, 2021
Sheikh Rasheed addresses a news conference.
Sheikh Rasheed addresses a news conference.

The National Security Committee has decided not to abandon the talks process with the outlawed Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protesters rather the government should continue the negotiations in order to find a solution to the problem, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A new round of talks between the government and the TLP leaders is expected to take place Friday (today) evening. 

The decision was taken at an important meeting of the National Security Committee which was held at PM House in Islamabad on Friday. The civil and military leadership deliberated in detail upon the law and order situation prevailing in the country.

With Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, the meeting discussed in depth the situation and the ways to defuse it. Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI Director General were in attendance.

Top members of the federal Cabinet including Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Defence Minister Pervez Khattak also attended the meeting along with the naval chief and director general of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The meeting which lasted for two hours was briefed in detail.

Briefing the media about the NSC’s decisions, Sheikh Rasheed said the government was not going to shut the door of dialogue on the TLP leaders.

He, however, made it clear that the state’s writ has to be established at all costs.

The interior minister said it is possible that a new round of talks with TLP leaders will take place tonight. “If that happens me and Noorul Haq Qadri (federal minister for religious affairs) will represent the government,” he added.

The minister also stated that Prime Minister Imran will address the nation tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

He said the police have been placed under the control of Rangers. He said four policemen had been martyred and over 80 injured in the direct firing by the protesters. “Rangers have all the power to enforce the law,” the minister made it clear.

Sheikh Rasheed said “We have not shut the door to talks, but the state’s writ has to be enforced at all cost,” the interior minister said, adding that he wishes to settle the issue amicably.

Rasheed said that the government’s responsibility is to secure people’s lives and property. “We are waiting for the protesters to leave the GT Road and go back to their Markaz,” he added.

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said that the ISI director general briefed the NSC meeting about the protesters’ foreign contacts and links with terrorist groups.

The meeting was told that a number of policemen had been martyred by the direct firing of the TLP protesters.

Fawad said the ISI DG will give a detailed briefing at the right time.

Reporter Awais Kiyani