Sh Rasheed warns ‘violent’ TLP protestors of dire consequences
Sheikh Rasheed. File photo
Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed Thursday warned the banned outfit Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to face dire consequences if violence continues.
He urged the party to stick to the commitments it had made with the government earlier. In case the group continues to resort to violence, “things will be out of my hands”, he stated.
The minister, while appearing on a TV show, said that no matter what happens, the government will stop the group from entering the capital.
He went on to warn the protesters to stop, and turn back or else the state would “establish its writ”.
"The state will not allow anyone to challenge its writ, therefore, I would request this proscribed organisation to return home," he said. "The conditions you have created will not benefit you."
The minister said that the government was left with no other choice than to deploy the Rangers in Punjab so that the lives and property of the people could be protected.
He said that despite the government's attempts to negotiate with the TLP, there has, so far, been no progress.
He went on to add that Prime Minister Imran Khan would not allow the state to become “hostage”, and that the government does not want to see any more violence.
“Your loss is our loss”, he stated while addressing the TLP protestors."But we will not allow Pakistan's loss at any cost," the minister said, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan will not allow Pakistan to be held hostage by anyone.
"Pakistan is an atomic power, therefore, internal powers are trying to weaken the country," Rasheed maintained. "Pakistan is the defensive line of Islam."
The minister went on to say that owing to the ongoing situation and protests — which had taken a violent turn, leading to the martyrdom of four police personnel — the "ambassador of France got scared and fled the country."
"When the French ambassador is not present in the country, and the government has submitted a resolution in the National Assembly regarding his expulsion, then why are you marching towards Islamabad?" he asked the proscribed organisation.
"If you continue to march despite the government trying to hold talks and PM Imran Khan showing maximum flexibility, then you will be stopped," the minister told the TLP.
He asked the TLP protestors that “why don’t you believe us when we say that the French envoy has left the country?”
He further stated that damaging one’s own country does not count as serving the religion in any manner.
“PM Imran is the first person to form the Rehmatullil Alameen Authority and take the country towards making it a welfare state like Madina,” he added.
The minister went on to reveal that he has spoken to Saad Hussain Rizvi multiple times in recent days and would talk to them again on Friday and Saturday. “However, the talks would only be held after they (the TLP) return,” he clarified.
He added that matters with the TLP remain unresolved till now, which is the reason why Rangers had to be called in Punjab so that law and order across the province could be maintained.
Rasheed further stated that earlier TLP committed to unblock roads and the group should fulfil its promise, “otherwise, matters will go out of my hand,” he warned.
While talking about the four policemen martyred in clashes with the TLP, he said there had been a reaction on it in the police.
He said that the writ of state will be established at any cost.
Regarding the talks that the government had held with the prescribed organisation today, Rasheed said that the government has accepted most of the demands of the TLP but the matter regarding the expulsion of the French ambassador from Pakistan would put the country in a critical position.
"This is because France is heading the European Union," the minister said, adding that Pakistan is undergoing a financial crisis, therefore, it cannot afford international isolation as it would affect the poor masses of the country.
"Talks would be held again with the leadership of the proscribed organisation on Friday and Saturday," the minister said, adding that he also had a word with the leader of TLP, Saad Rizvi, who is currently in jail.
Answering a question regarding entering into an agreement with the proscribed organisation, Rasheed said that he took the step after seeking the approval of the prime minister.
The interior minister said that the advancement of the TLP march will be stopped at any cost. He added that the government is ready to hold talks with TLP if the protestors agreed to return to their centre.
Sheikh Rasheed said that conspiracies are in making to impose global sanctions on Pakistan. He added that the police force was not given the powers which the department was seeking from the government.
He said that TLP should play a political role as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had not imposed any restriction. The interior minister clarified that the federal government will not bow down and state writ will be established at any cost.