Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Wednesday said that the government on request of the Punjab government, has deployed Pakistan Rangers in Punjab province for 60 days to maintain the law and order situation.
Addressing a press conference, Sheikh Rashid categorically said, “The government will not allow anyone to play with the lives of people.”
He said, “Keeping in view the serious nature of the prevailing situation, it is part of my responsibility to protect the lives and national security, so under article 147 of the Constitution, on the request of Punjab government, I have allowed to deploy Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) in entire Punjab as deployed in Karachi and entrusting powers under Section 4(3)(i) of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.”
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He also announced to permit the Punjab government to exercise the Police Officers provided in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 read with Section 5 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1977.
He said that a summary in this regard had been sent to the federal cabinet for approval and a notification has been issued.
He added, now Punjab government can use Pakistan Rangers anywhere in the province.
However, he still requested the group to end their protest and return to their homes peacefully. “I clearly told them we cannot close the French embassy while their ambassador is not in Pakistan.”
He said, “It seems they have some other agenda. Being a political worker I cannot afford hardships for patients, school-going children and ambulances.”
Pakistan Govt will now treat the banned TLP as a militant group after the group's violent protests killed 3 policemen. Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said that Rangers are being called to maintain law and order in Punjab province for 60 days.
— Sana Jamal (@Sana_Jamal) October 27, 2021
He added, “It was their commitment to open both sides of the road, but they did not fulfil their pledge. We are still ready to fulfil our promises if they return home as per their commitment.”
Sheikh said, “I have issued clear direction to the Cyber Crime Wing of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) against fake news being circulated in the social media about any loss of protesters while the fact is Police is facing such situation.”
He made it clear that there is no loss to the government, but there are bright chances of international sanctions on TLP besides including their name in the list of international terrorist organizations.
“I talked to them and told them all about this situation. I requested them to understand the situation as I wanted to resolve this issue through negotiation. I had no other option but to allow the Punjab government to deploy Pakistan Rangers when TLP were killing policemen through automatic weapons.”
He said that some external forces wanted sanctions to be imposed on Pakistan to financially damage the motherland.
Read more: No agreement was inked with TLP regarding expulsion of French ambassador, says government
“This is the sixth episode of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). They have become now militant as in Sadhoki they used Kalashnikov and opened fire on unarmed policemen that resulted in the martyrdom of three policemen besides 70 other injured including eight in critical condition.”
He said that the government of Punjab will talk about this issue in detail.