Interior إinister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed along with Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Noor-ul-Haq Qadri addressing a joint press conference at the media center of Interior Ministry in Islamabad, on April 15, 2021. — INP/File
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday directed federal and provincial ministers to hold negotiations with banned outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) after they threatened to march towards Islamabad.
Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq Qadri today to discuss the prevailing law and order situation. Talks between the two focused on the banned outfit’s protests.
On the directives of the prime minister, Qadri arrived in Lahore from Karachi to hold negotiations with the banned outfit’s leadership.
The government’s negotiation team will comprise Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, Qadri, and Punjab Law Minister Muhammad Raja Basharat.
“The government believes in resolving issues through dialogue,” said Qadri, adding that protecting the lives and properties of the people is the government’s top priority.
Two policemen were martyred in Lahore Friday night after a couple of cars collided during a protest by the banned outfit. Clashes between police and members of the outlawed outfit also resulted in over 40 cops getting injured.
Earlier, PM Imran Khan directed the interior minister to return to the country from the UAE, where he had gone to watch India-Pakistan’s high-voltage T20 World Cup clash.
A day earlier, authorities suspended the Metro Bus service in Rawalpindi and blocked roads in Islamabad and Lahore as the government braced for protests organised separately by the banned outfit and Opposition parties in the above-mentioned cities.
The Ministry of Interior had written to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend internet services in various areas of Lahore due to the banned outfit’s protest.
The provincial government had subsequently suspended internet services around Multan Road, Grand Battery Stop, Iqbal Town, Nawankot, Samanabad and Sabzazar areas of Lahore.