The first round of talks have failed between the Punjab government committee comprising Law Minister Raja Basharat and Prosecution Minister Chaudhry Zaheeruddin and Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) senior officials ahead of the latter’s expected long march to the capital.
According to Baaghi TV sources, first of all the TLP officials demanded the release of their workers arrested by the Punjab government. Secondly, they demanded the lifting of ban on the organization and last but not the least, expulsion of the French ambassador from Pakistan.
As a result, the Punjab government delegation said that the arrested workers in the districts of Punjab can be released, they have been released earlier as well. However, the lifting on ban from Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan and the issue of deportation of the French ambassador can only be looked into by the federation, it is not just in the hands of Punjab government.
On which, the senior officials of TLP said that we will go to Islamabad and get our demands fulfilled. Sarwar Saifi, a senior TLP leader, said that we will go to Data Darbar in any case, after which the convoy will leave for Islamabad. TLP participants have started marching from MAO College after being shelled by the police. As police reduced shelling, participants began to move forward. One worker was reportedly injured in the police shelling, while several others fainted.
On the other hand, consideration has been given to shutting down mobile phone service across the country tomorrow. Last night, a targeted operation will be launched against TLP on an emergency basis across the country.
According to the Baaghi TV correspondent Faaiz Chughtai, the police are retreating after the shelling. The protesters tried to move forward, but were stopped. Faaiz Chughtai further told Baaghi TV that the number of participants in the TLP March is in the thousands. The number of participants are increasing every moment. There are participants on both sides of the road from Chauburji Chowk to MAO College. The police fired shells at the participants near MAO College, but they did not lose their temper and the participants kept moving forward. However, a heavy contingent of police as well as Rangers is present near MAO College.
— Baaghitv باغی ٹی وی (@BaaghiTV) October 22, 2021
According to reports, an important meeting of top Punjab government officials and police was held last night in which it was decided that the marchers should be stopped at a place from where they could be arrested and no one could find an alternative route. The meeting decided that the marchers should be allowed to come to MAO College and be barred from there. Now the situation at MAO College is that there is a heavy contingent of police on the front side.
There are participants of the march from MAO College to Chauburji and there is also a heavy contingent of police on the Chauburji side. The road from MAO College to Sanda has been closed. The road to the Jain Temple is also closed. Now the participants of the TLP March are between MAO College and Chauburji and there are police on both sides. All small roads were already closed by the police. Police shelled the place from MAO College, Chauburji Chowk on both sides. Participants are chanting slogans, but the leadership of TLP is currently in a state of panic as there is no alternative.
The TLP march started from Yateem Khana Chowk will to Samanabad, Chauburji, MAO College, Secretariat Nasir Bagh and then reach Data Darbar. Members of the TLP Shoora will visit the Data Darbar and then march will proceed to Islamabad via Grand Trunk (GT) Road.
On the way, TLP leaders will address in various cities. There were also women on the roofs of the houses as they marched from the Yateem Khana Chowk, who showered flowers on the marchers. Workers are chanting passionate slogans. Participants in the TLP march are wearing face masks to prevent tear gas. The March security movement is in the hands of TLP volunteers.
According to informed sources, it has been decided to impose curfew in different areas in Lahore today. A major operation is being prepared against the TLP movement. It has also been decided to close Lahore’s Grid station. Meanwhile, power might be cut off in many areas of the provincial capital, and mobile phone service will also be shut down in most areas. It has also been decided to suspend television cable across Lahore.
Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan has called on the government to fulfil the agreement stating that the French ambassador should be ousted and Hafiz Saad Rizvi, the head of TLP, should be released. Even if the government tries to stop TLP from exercising its constitutional right, the government itself will be responsible for the serious situation in the country.
On the other hand, the Rawalpindi police has started arresting TLP protestors in Liaquat Bagh Chowk, Rawalpindi. Heavy contingents of police have been deployed. Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan activists from other districts including Attock and Kasur have also been arrested.
According to Baaghi TV sources, Islamabad police cracks down on Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan workers and arrested around 24 TLP workers as of latest reports.Secretariat Police Station arrested 9, Golra Police Station 4, and Koral Police Station have arrested 2 TLP workers. Moreover, the Bani Gala police arrested 3, Ramna, Sihala and Lohi Bher police arrested 2 workers each. Apart from Islamabad, arrests of TLP activists continue in all districts of Punjab.
On the other hand, the leave of federal police personnel and soldiers has been suspended and they have been directed to return to duty as soon as possible. A heavy contingent of police has been deployed at Faizabad in Islamabad. Water cannons and armored vehicles have also been delivered to Faizabad. Faizabad police are also equipped with tear gas shelling equipment as well. The police has ben instructed by the government to stop the protesters from reaching Faizabad under any circumstances.
Lahore police has also been ordered to remain on high alert. Lahore police cracked down on workers last night and arrested dozens of workers. All entrances and exits of Lahore city were closed with containers and a heavy contingent of police was deployed. Troops of Punjab Constabulary have also been called. Consideration is being given to suspending the entire city’s mobile internet service.
According to informed sources, the recommendation to close the landline is also under consideration. The Lahore police were equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to deal with the mob. Police have water cannons, gas shells, sprays, rubber bullets and protective jackets. Sources further reveal that the police has been instructed to stop the protestors to leave Lahore for Islamabad under any circumstances. Prison vans have been delivered on the entrances and exits of Lahore.
It is to be noted that TLP today announced a march towards Islamabad after the Jummah prayers which will be offered at the Yateem Khana Chowk in lahore.
On the other hand, there are reports that Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has taken leave from the Prime Minister and left for Dubai where he will watch the Pakistan-India T2o World Cup match. The interior minister himself announced two days ago that he has taken leave and he is leaving for Dubai for two days.
It is to be remembered that Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan was banned by the government of Pakistan. Hafiz Saad Rizvi, son of Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, was arrested on April 12, 2021 from Scheme Mor Chowk, Lahore. Police arrested Hafiz Saad Rizvi to stop the protest of April 16, 2021 after their talks failed with the government regarding the deportation of the French ambassador.
After the arrest of Saad Rizvi, there was an uproar across the country, and the government banned the party, which was later challenged by the officials of the party. Hafiz Saad Rizvi is still under arrest and the party is banned by the PTI government as of today.
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