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Govt, security establishment one on protecting state writ

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Govt, security establishment one on protecting state writ

ISLAMABAD: The government and security establishment are determined to protect the writ of the state and will not bow to use of violence by any group for political ends, senior security and government officials told a media briefing late Friday.

The unfolding situation in Punjab where banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) have blocked the main roads calls for a united response, beyond any political differences, they said. The security official outright dismissed as conspiracy talks about the protest being staged internally to create a wedge between civilian and military leadership. The officer also denied any previous links between the banned outfit TLP and security or political establishment.

A minister later told the background briefing that 27 TLP financiers had been identified who have provided crores of rupees to sustain the protest. The minister promised to make public list of these financiers.

The officer disclosed the state had suffered a staggering Rs3 billion loss in material since the the emergence of violent group in 2017. He said police had been the target of violence by groups’ members. The government is ready to talk with the group but will not bow to violence. He also warned escalation in violence may lead to sporadic protests and serious law and order in other parts of the country also and in major cities.

The gathering was told that the Punjab Rangers do not carry batons or rubber bullets and are not trained to act like law enforcers for mob control. Clashes with Rangers could present a very dangerous situation and if any fatalities were suffered by the TLP in these clashes, the situation would worsen. It was mentioned that incidents like these had sparked the Arab Spring and dismantling of the state authority in countries like Syria and Libya. The meeting was told that a narrative of unity must be presented to the public in which using religion for political ends must be shunned.


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