Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Wednesday that the proscribed group Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) would be obliterated in Pakistan like all other terror groups.
The federal minister addressed a press conference today wherein he stated that no one had the audacity to ‘blackmail’ the state and that the TLP would be treated like a ‘militant party’ instead of a political one. He added that several security personnel were martyred because of the ongoing TLP protests.
Chaudhry said that the shift in stance towards TLP came about because of a meeting headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan with military and intelligence agencies.
Chaudhry furthered that organizations like the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had an important role to play in curtailing the rise of outfits like TLP as the group was still able to contest elections in Pakistan.
Chaudhry’s comments came in the wake of increased agitation between TLP protesters and security officials in Gujranwala on Wednesday. Four policemen were martyred while dozens of others were injured.
On Sunday, Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid in his address to media personnel said that TLP was not fully banned as they were able to contest elections on their party icon freely. He said that Pakistan was flip flopping when it came to TLP as the issue of them being banned was not taken up in the Supreme Court.
The contrast between the two stances on the banned organization was visible in a video shared by journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi on Twitter today.
Interior minister Shaikh Rashid: The [defunct] TLP is the third largest political party in Punjab.
Information minister Fawwad Chaudhry: We will treat the [defunct] like a militant party. pic.twitter.com/ZU4mCRYI13
— Amber Rahim Shamsi (@AmberRShamsi) October 27, 2021
TLP began demonstrating for the release of their leader Saad Hussain Rizvi on October 19. Rizvi has been detained since April to ‘maintain public order’. On October 21, the group announced that they would conduct a long march to Rawalpindi the next day, which has been ongoing since then.