Staff Reporter – Lahore:
The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan has called off its long march on Islamabad. The marchers were stationed in Wazirabad for over two weeks waiting for the release of their leader Saad Rizvi.
According to reports, TLP supporters have started packing up and will head back to Lahore within a few hours.
The development comes a day after the federal government issued a notification to revoke the ban on the religious party. It said that the step was being taken in view of “the assurance and commitment by the organisation” and “the larger national interest and long term perspective to ensure that such incidents do not recur in future”.
TLP has been removed from the First Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 as a proscribed organisation, the notification added. The party was placed on the schedule earlier this year on April 15 by the Punjab Home Department.
On October 31, the government and TLP reached an agreement after successful negotiations. The news was revealed by the government’s negotiation team comprising Mufti Muneebu-ur-Rehman and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi among others.
The details of the agreements were not revealed. Mufti Muneeb said that it was backed by TLP’s Saad Rizvi. He claimed that ‘positive’ results of the agreement would be visible to the nation next week.
Under the deal, the government released over 2,000 TLP workers from various jails in Punjab. Those released on Sunday included Allama Farooq Al-Hassan, a member of TLP shura.
The TLP workers had started a “long march” on Islamabad from Lahore on October 21, leaving Lahore after clashing with the police.
According to AFP, at least seven policemen were killed during the clashes. The same report quoted TLP officials saying that 14 of their supporters died in the clashes with police and scores were left injured.