Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday paid tribute to the country's police force for their "heroic stand" against organised violence by supporters of an ultra right-wing political party.
Earlier this week, supporters of the now proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan rioted across the country for almost three days after the arrest of their party chief.
The prime minister said the intention was to blackmail the government. "Four policemen were martyred and over 600 injured," the prime minister said in reference to the violence.
I want to pay special tribute to our police force for their heroic stand against organised violence intended to create chaos to blackmail govt. 4 policemen were martyred & over 600 injured. Our nation is indebted to these heroes & we will look after the families of the martyrs.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 16, 2021
Acknowledging the sacrifices of the police personnel, the premier said the "nation is indebted to these heroes" and assured that the families of the martyred police officials would be looked after by the government.
The government on Thursday decided to approach the apex court seeking the dissolution of the TLP after the federal cabinet outlawed the group under the country’s anti-terrorism law.
The cabinet’s approval of a summary to ban the TLP came in the wake of thousands of its activists and supporters staging violent protests across the country over the arrest of their leader.
Armed with sticks, canes and in some instances guns, they went on a rampage, causing loss of life and damaging properties worth millions of rupees.
After imposing the ban, the government also decided to circulate another summary among members of the federal cabinet for the dissolution of TLP on April 16, saying the matter would then be taken to the Supreme Court.
“We tried our best to solve the issues [with TLP] through negotiations but they had extremely dangerous intentions and weren’t agreeing to go back on their agenda for April 20 [march],” Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, accompanied by Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, explained at a news conference in the federal capital earlier.
“Accepting demands like expelling ambassadors could lead to an extremely difficult situation for the country,” he had added, referring to the TLP seeking the expulsion of the French envoy over blasphemous caricatures.
Rashid said all ministers had signed the summary seeking their approval for declaring the TLP a proscribed organisation.
He had also said that another summary, under Article 172 of the Constitution (read with Section 112 of the Election Act, 2017), would be circulated among cabinet members so that the reference for the dissolution of the TLP could be filed before the top court.