Staff Reporter – Islamabad:
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said that an alliance with an extremist group “means international isolation”.
His statement, on Twitter, came as the government began implementing a deal made with the proscribed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which had launched protests in Lahore on October 20, seeking the release of their leader Saad Rizvi.
After more than 10 days of demonstrations and clashes with police, the government on Sunday reached an accord with the banned outfit. Under the agreement, TLP workers who are not facing any formal criminal charges were to be released. The amnesty was also extended to Rizvi.
Chaudhry, in his tweet today, said that religious groups have the capacity to use mobs for violence but their capacity to create any ripple in politics “has always been limited”.
“At one point Sunni Tehreek was more violent than TLP, but done and dusted. This party will be over sooner,” he wrote.
“[An] alliance with such a party means international isolation,” the information minister added.
Agreement to be made public after 10 days
Meanwhile, talking to a private channel, Saylani Welfare Trust Chairman Maulana Bashir Farooqui, who was present during negotiations between the TLP and the government, said the agreement cannot be made public before the 10th day of the deal, even as he assured that its contents “do not go against the national interest”.
News of the agreement between the government and TLP was announced Sunday in a sombre press conference hosted by officials from the PTI government’s negotiating team.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser were present on behalf of the government at the press conference. Barelvi scholar Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman was also present, having arbitrated between the government and the protestors.