ISLAMABAD: Leaders of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) ended their 22-day long protest at Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad after an agreement with the government.
The development comes after Law Minister Zahid Hamid sent his resignation to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while an agreement was also signed between the government and the protesting party‘s leaders.
On the assurance of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, we are calling off the sit-in,” Khadim Hussain Rizvi told the crowd of around 2,500 demonstrators Monday, who have occupied a main highway leading into the capital.
He further said, “We have given a 12-hour deadline to the government to release all the arrested workers and meanwhile, we are winding up the things to call-off the protest.”
An official announcement will be made once our demands will be implemented, he added. Federal Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Federal Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza signed the agreement from government’s side while Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Pir Afzal Qadri and Muhammad Waheed Noor signed the agreement on the behalf of the religious parties.
TLYR demanded Law minister Zahid Hamid should be immediately suspended; the party will not issue any ‘fatwa’ against him. The government has already reinstated amendments to the Election Act 2017 clauses 7A and 7B relating to Khatm-e-Nabuwwat. The government should release the Raja Zafarul Haq‘s report within 30 days. The agreement also includes the condition that the workers of religious parties, arrested since November 6, 2017, will have to be released and cases against them dismissed.
It also demanded to release the participants of the sit-in and that the charges against them should be dropped. It also asked for the formation of an inquiry team to investigate the security action against TLYRAP sit-in on November 25. Those responsible should be prosecuted within 30 days.
Rizvi appealed to protesters across the country to disperse, adding that the Faizabad-based protesters are packing up their things and will soon vacate the sit-in site.
He also temporarily made the media hostage after he learned that his press conference was not given live coverage due to the government’s ban. However, media personnel were given safe passage after the Rangers intervened.
Earlier Rangers authorities on Monday requested Faizabad protest administrators to vacate the area soon. Director General Rangers Azhar Naveed Hayat visited Faizabad and inspected the eight surrounding routes to Faizabad. He directed the Rangers personnel to first open the Express Way for traffic.
He also communicated with the protest administration and asked them to clear Faizabad interchange as soon as possible. In response, the protesters assured the Rangers authorities that they will complete the process after those arrested were released.
DG Rangers also directed to remove the tents placed on the roads with the assistance of the protesters. Moreover; cranes have also arrived at the location for removal of the containers.
The Rangers then handed over ten protestors who were in police stations. The Rangers also gave Rs 1,000 each to the protestors to reach their destinations. INP