Punjab governor will meet TLP for second round of talks

The Punjab government will demand the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan call off its long march announced on April 20 in the second round of negotiations with the religious party.

In return, the government will release the arrested TLP workers. These will, however, not include those who have been arrested under terrorism charges. The decision on that will be taken by the court.

In the first round of talks early Monday morning, the government and TLP reached a ceasefire after 11 policemen held hostage by the party were released.

The officers have been released, while the TLP men have gone to Rehmatul Lil Alameen mosque. The police have also retreated, Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said in a video message.

The second round of negotiations is expected to commence later in the evening. It will be held in a neutral place.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Law Minister Raja Basharat will hold a meeting with a five-member TLP committee.

Reports suggest Sarwar and Basharat are hopeful the second round of talks will be the final one.

Countrywide strike

Powerful clerics have called for a shutter-down strike across Pakistan today, Monday, in support of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan that was banned by the government for outbreaks of violence and protesting last week.

The former head of the moon-sighting Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s Fazlur Rehman both announced their support Sunday night. 

Mufti Muneeb asked the government to release TLP workers and withdraw its ban on the group.

“I announce that after today’s incident, the French ambassador’s exit from Pakistan has been stopped,” said Fazlur Rehman. “I am clearly announcing that if the bodies of TLP martyrs are sent to Islamabad, we will be with them.”

He went on to say, “terrorists are not the ones who talk about the honor of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Terrorists are Imran Khan and his cabinet ministers.”

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