TLP lifts GT Road blockade

Protesters shift to park to hold peaceful protest until their chief is released

Our Correspondents November 01, 2021
Mufit Muneeb addresses the media in Karachi on November 1. SCREENGRAB


After over a week-long nuisance and violence, life started returning to normalcy on GT Road near Wazirabad and the surrounding areas, as the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) supporters cleared the main road and moved to a nearby park.

The protesters reportedly will hold a peaceful sit-in at the park until a concrete progress on the implementation of their agreement, especially the release of TLP chief Hafiz Saad Rizvi.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan shared a short video clip of an aerial view of the GT Road at the TLP agitation site on Twitter. "GT ROAD Cleared! TLP Dharna shifted from GT Road to an open ground in Wazirabad away from traffic as per the agreement."

“Traffic flow [is back to] normal now & has NO issue of road blockage because of [the] protest, which has been shifted to [an] open vacant ground.”

He also appreciated the TLP leadership "for honouring their commitment", adding that the government was already “implementing its side of the agreement since last night”.

The state minister is also heading the steering committee formed to look after the implementation and preparation of the modalities of the agreement.

The government and the TLP had reached an agreement after the intervention of Mufti Muneebur Rehman and other scholars. On Sunday afternoon, the announcement was made in a news briefing.

Read More: GT Road cleared after TLP workers move to open ground

However, the TLP protesters remained put with their sit-in on the main GT Road near Wazirabad even at night.

They were adamant on listening to the announcement of their main leadership on stage rather than the media.

After the dialogue in the evening, the first meeting of the steering committee was held that continued till late at night. Ali Muhammad Khan had announced it on social media, saying: "Modalities of implementation of agreement discussed."

At midnight, Mufti Muneeb and TLP Majlis-e-Shura members, who are part of the negotiating team, reached the sit-in. In the meantime, the government had released two senior TLP leaders and members of their Majlis-e-Shura including Allama Shafiq Amin.

On the other hand, the second meeting of the steering committee, chaired by Muhammad Ali Khan, was held in Lahore. The state minister in a statement on social media said, "The second meeting of the steering committee for implementation of agreement with the TLP concluded in Lahore.

"Major decisions taken and implementation mechanism devised."

TLP sources said that a list of detained leadership and workers named in the Fourth Schedule was shared in the steering committee’s meeting, adding that it contained over 2,000 names.

They said that the process for their release has been initiated.

Further, a Lahore police ASI, who was injured in clashes with the TLP and undergoing treatment at a hospital in Lahore, succumbed to his injuries. His funeral prayers were held at Qila Gujjar Singh police lines where – apart from his family members – a large number of police officers including IGP Rao Sardar Khan, CCPO Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, and colleagues were in attendance.

After the meeting, the state minister also attended the funeral.

Reportedly, the police officials expressed their reservations over the signing of the agreement by the government despite the loss of lives with the ministers.

Meanwhile, Ulema who played a reconciliatory role between the government and the TLP addressed the media upon their arrival in Karachi on Monday.

Mufti Muneeb said that the Ulema had demanded table talks as well as negotiations and the government approached them last Saturday.

Mufti Muneeb said that the government contacted Maulana Bashir Farooqi for talks and he had gone to Islamabad for the purpose.

“We had no personal or political agenda,” he said, adding that he talked to the TLP leadership and that the commitment made to it by the government was not fulfilled.

In response to a question, he said, “All schools of thought have come together on one page. I thank all of them.”


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