No negotiation process is underway with the TLP: Sheikh Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed has said that the government was not negotiating with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

Giving details of the proscribed organisation’s blockage of roads and highways across the country, Sh Rasheed said 192 locations across the country had been sealed by the banned outfit.  “The situation is a bit tense at Yateem Khana Chowk in Lahore where the Jamia Masjid Rahmatul Lil Alameen is located,” he said. “Currently, all roads including the GT Road and the Murree Expressway are open for traffic, he said.

The minister said the GT Road and all main arteries of the country will remain open on April 20. The minister was referencing the date as the banned outfit had planned a protest on April 20 over the alleged non-fulfillment of their demands.

Speaking about the proscribed organisation, Rasheed said when an outfit is banned, the bank accounts and passports of its members are frozen by the government. He spoke about estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen, saying that he was sure the sugar baron would not deflect from the PTI to any other political party.

The Punjab government had on Saturday placed Saad Rizvi, the chief of the banned party TLP, on the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

In a notification, Punjab’s home department had said his assets have been frozen, and his national identity card has been blocked — which means he cannot conduct transactions via banks, nor can he sell or purchase any property.

Similarly, the National Counter-Terrorism Authority, a day earlier, had placed TLP on the proscribed organisations list. Rizvi has to submit his original passport to the in-charge of the concerned police station.

After he submits his passport, he will have to obtain permission from the police station when he wishes to leave his residence — and provide details of any meetings he wishes to hold anywhere.

On Thursday, the federal government had declared the TLP a proscribed organisation under anti-terrorism laws and launched a broad crackdown against the party.

The action came after days of violent protests and traffic disruptions in the largest cities of Pakistan, which saw public and private property damaged by gangs of hooligans bearing sticks and turning on law enforcement officials at will.

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