TLP leadership booked under treason, terrorism charges

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam

            The top leadership of Threek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) had been booked under sedation and terrorism charges for inciting violence, arson and damage to public and private property during their protest in the first week of November.

            Rizvi and other clerics are accused of inciting supporters and making incendiary remarks against the judiciary and military chief.

            Addressing a press conference in federeal capital Islamabad, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Saturday said said a case of sedition and terrorism had been registered against TLP leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi at Civil Line Police Station Lahore while Pir Afzal Qadri was booked in Gujrat. Similarly, cases were lodged against Iniyatullah Haq and Hafiz Farooqul Hassan at the Rawat Police Station.

         Keeping political differences aside, Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, spokes person to Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has appriciated federal information Fawad Chaudray in a twitt on social media site.

“Good job! Keeping our differences aside, open call for mutiny in the armed forces and killing of SC judges should not go unpunished. Ample evidence on record to take this case to its logical/legal ends. Since govt is prone to taking u-turns, we can only hope none on this one!”, Khokhar twitted.

            Fawad said it was the state’s responsibility to devise policies for the society. All the political parties and state institutions were subservient to the Constitution. Holding peaceful protest was a constitutional right of every citizen, but it should be in ambit of law and the Constitution.

            The miscreants had damaged public property worth  Rs 50 million, besides misbehaving with common citizens during the TLP protest, minister said.

            They had even harassed women, besides snatching their purses. Such miscreants were being identified and booked under Anti-Terrorism Act. Many of them had already been arrested, he added.

            Fawad said Khadim Rizvi, Afzal Qadri and Hafiz Faooqul Hassan were taken in to protective custody on November 23. Some 2,899 TLP activists were also held in Punjab, 139 in Sindh and 126 in the Federal Capital, he added.

            He said those, who were not directly involved in violence, would be released after taking surety bonds from them that they would not participate in such illegal activities in future.

            Some miscreants in the garb of protest had resorted to violence and arson damaging both private and public property worth millions, and the state could not allow anyone to take law into their hands, he added.

            He said all the state institutions and the opposition parties were taken on board before taking action against the TLP. He also thanked the opposition and media for extending full support to the government in that regard.

            Replying to a question, he said the accused would be tried in anti-terrorism courts. The TLP had violated the agreement which its leadership had signed with the government, by taking the law into their hand, he added.

            Answering another query, he said some 500 kanal of government land worth Rs 350 billion had been retrieved from illegal occupants in Islamabad and 88,000 acres in Punjab during operation against the land grabbers. Old and fake videos regarding the anti-encroachment operation had gone viral on social media under a conspiracy to malign the government, he added.

            He said the prime minister had given clear-cut directions to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and provincial authorities to retrieve the government land from the occupants.

            Regarding the ongoing operation against encroachers in Karachi, the minister said it was not under the domain of Federal Government as it was being carried out by the provincial and city governments on the Supreme Court’s directives.

            Referring to the statement of Indian Army chief linking his country’s engagement with Pakistan till its secularization, the minister posed a question to the Indian journalists that whether their civilian and army leaderships were not on the same page. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had lauded the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, he added.

            He said Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to facilitate religious tourism in the regions. Like Kartarpur for the Sikh community, a tample in Kasmir and Katas Taj temple in Chakwal were sacred for Hindus while a huge Buddha statue had been unearthed in Haripur, he added.

              Later, Talking to a private news channel, the minister said the government would deal with all the miscreants and extremists in the country with iron hand.

               He said all the political parties had consensus on National Action Plan (NAP), but unfortunately the last government was failed to implement it fully, adding the incumbent government would act on the NAP.

               To a question, Fawad said after collection of evidences against TLP leadership, action was taken against them, and expressed hope that no one would come out in their favour on roads now. There were some internal challenges needed to be addressed in the country before dealing with the externals ones, he added.

               The government had taken on board all the religious scholars and Ullema’s in that regard and they had shown their support, he said.

               To another query, the minister said the government had constituted a committee working to formulate a uniform syllabus for all the private and public educational institutions as well as seminaries (Madras) of the country.

               Fawad said there was a dire need to revamp the national institutions and government was going to introduce reforms to enhance their performance.

               To another question, he said National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) was playing a role of coordinator between different institutions.

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