TLP released 11 police hostages after talks with Punjab Govt

After a first round of talks with Punjab government, 11 police officers kidnapped by soon to be banned TLP were released.

11 policemen kidnapped by TLP were after negotiations with the Punjab government, said Interior Minister. The policemen were released following the first round of talks with the recently proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

“Talks have started with the TLP. The first round went well and the second round will take place after sehri,” Rashid said in a video message. “They have released 11 policemen who were made hostages and have gone into the Rehmatul Lil Alameen Mosque [Yateem Khana Chowk]. The police have also stepped back.”
Moreover, Minister was optimistic with the progress of the negotiations.
“The Punjab government was fruitful in these negotiations. Government hopes that second meeting will be successful too, and that issues with TLP can be resolved amicably “Added he.

According to a statement from police, CCPO Ghulam Mehmood Dogar took part in the operation to free the officials. “Police and Rangers have been deployed in vulnerable areas in the region,” said the spokesperson.

He added that the protest in Nawakot has dispersed and that police and Rangers are on the scene.

TLP staff “brutally tortured” a DSP and took him, along with four other officials, hostage.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant Information, stated that attackers kidnapped 12 police officers. The hostages included the DSP, and they took them to their Markaz.

Strike around the country

Meanwhile, Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman, the former chairman of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, declared a nationwide strike late Sunday. The announced strike was in protest of the government’s handling of the Lahore situation. The strike demanded that businesses remain closed on Monday. He also urged all political parties to accept the call for a strike.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the head of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), said that he “completely supports[ed]” the Mufti’s call for a strike.

“Until now, we have remained calm so that the government may come to its senses, but that does not seem to be happening,” he said. Moreover, Mufti demanded that all arrested activists be granted bail on personal surety and all FIRs against them be cancelled.

Lahore is a battlefield

Earlier on Sunday, Punjab police said the violence erupted after “miscreants” — an obvious reference to TLP members — stormed a police station and kidnapped the DSP, adding that the police department acted only in “self-defense.”

The miscreants came armed, according to the release. Consequently, the miscreants assaulted Rangers/police with petrol bombs.

“Police and Rangers pushed them back and took back the possession of the police station,” it said, adding that police did not plan or conduct any operation against the mosque or the madressah.

“The action, if any, was in self-defence and to protect public property.”

According to an official report, Treatment of wounded 15 police officers was taking place at various hospitals in the area. TLP workers, according to Arif, subjected security personnel to “brutal torture.”

The clash began when police launched an operation to clear the area around Lahore’s Yateem Khana Chowk, where TLP staff have been staging a protest since earlier this week, according to a TLP spokesperson.

In a video message, TLP spokesperson Shafiq Ameeni said that “[We] will bury [those killed] when the French ambassador exits the country and our agreement (with the government) is implemented.”

Videos on social media showed people carrying away the injured and tending to them.

Consequently, TLP workers wielded sticks and stones. Workers climbed atop the Orange Line Metro Train as speeches called people for support, according to the city police spokesperson.

An AFP reporter at the scene said police used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters.

The TLP released a video of a kidnapped senior Punjab police official on Sunday. In an attempt to clear the crowd, the wounded police official said that officer was “captured” by the “enraged” crowd.

Abduction of Police caused the operation in Lahore launch. “The state was not blackmailed by [the] banned armed group,” Chaudhry was quoted as saying on Twitter.

The situation is ‘tense’

The federal government officially banned the TLP earlier this week. The ban came after its supporters staged three days of violent demonstrations across the country. The protests killed and injured many police officers.

Rashid told a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday that the situation around Yateem Khana Chowk was “tense“. Additionally, Minister said that the government would decide whether or not to disband the TLP.

“If [the TLP] must be dissolved, the law ministry and the Attorney General [of Pakistan] will work on it, and a reference will be submitted.”

When asked whether the TLP and the government were in talks, he said yes.

Moreover, answering a question, Rashid said the government will make full efforts to ensure that all roads and highways remain open on April 20.

Brutal Protests

Hundreds of Protestors and Police personals injured during the protests. Thousands of TLP activists and supporters came to be arrested. The protestors booked for attacking law enforcement personnel and blocking main roads and highways in protest. Protestors held protest against the arrest of their leader Allama Saad Hussain Rizvi.

Prime Minister Imran Khan praised police for coping with the “organised brutality” committed by the protesters on Friday.

The premier also declared in a tweet that government would assist families of the four police officers killed in the violence.

“I want to pay special tribute to our police force for their heroic stand against organised violence intended to create chaos to blackmail [the] government,” he wrote. Additionally, he noted that four policemen badged martyrdom and more than 600 injured during the unrest.

What does the TLP want?

On April 12, protests erupted across Pakistan’s major cities after security forces detained TLP leader Saad Hussain Rizvi in Lahore as a “pre-emptive step” ahead of the party’s April 20 deadline to the government.

The deadline pertains to the party’s demands from last year; Decapitation of a history teacher was done who showed blasphemous sketches of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in class. French Police shot dead the Teacher’s assailant as they tried to arrest him. In the days that followed beheading, caricatures were projected onto facade of a building in one French city. People displayed them at protests around the country.

Following the killing, French President Emmanuel Macron criticised Islamists and vowed not to “give up cartoons” depicting Prophet Muhammad.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, as well as other Muslim leaders, condemned the
French premier’s remarks. Moreover, Nationwide demonstrations held calling for a boycott of French goods.

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