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Punjab asks for TLP’s revival


LAHORE: The Punjab Home Department, on the recommendation of the federal government, has decided to remove 90 members of the banned Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), including its chief Saad Rizvi, from the Fourth Schedule list, The News has learnt.

Sources in the Home Department said the names of banned TLP members would also be removed from the list of proscribed organisations. In this regard, the Punjab Home Department has sent a summary to Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for revocation of the TLP’s proscribed status. It has also been decided to remove the names of TLP people from cases registered under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

The official in the provincial Home Department said the summary had been forwarded to the chief minister after formal approval was accorded by the Punjab cabinet’s sub-committee on law and order. After approval from the chief minister and the provincial cabinet, the federal government would be moved to revoke TLP’s proscribed status, said the official.

Now, the assets of fourth schedulers would be unfrozen and their national identity cards and bank accounts would be unblocked. Their names would be removed from the Exit Control List (ECL) by the interior ministry, added the sources.

A Home Department official said the decision had been taken after an agreement reached between the federal government and the banned TLP. Earlier, the party members had been placed in the Fourth Schedule under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997.

Meanwhile, Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Saad Rizvi stood by the outfit’s demand for the closure of the French embassy when he spoke to him.

In contrast to Rashid, Mufti Muneebur Rehman had earlier this week claimed that the proscribed TLP had never wanted the government to expel the French ambassador, and nor did they want the closure of the country’s embassy as he disputed reports that these were the group’s key demands.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Mufti Muneeb had said, “The ministers lied […] the people who held talks with TLP lied about [the group] asking for the French ambassador’s expulsion, closure of the embassy, and severing ties with the Europen Union.”

Rashid, while speaking to journalists Thursday after attending a ceremony of Rescue 1122, said he had convinced Rizvi the matter would be discussed in Parliament. “In this regard, I have signed an [agreement], which I stand by,” the minister said, adding he was unaware of any talks that took place in his absence.

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