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Will government use force against the TLP protesters?


News Analysis |

Despite stern warning by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan is protesting and reportedly challenging the writ of the state. PM Khan issued a warning to the protesters led by Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi not to challenge the authority of the state, otherwise the state knows how to protect the lives and property of citizens. PM Khan formed a committee  to negotiate with the protesters and convinced them that the acquittal of Asia Bibi has been ordered by the top court of the country.

There was no other way but to implement the ruling of the apex court, Khan reportedly told his team. As a matter of fact, a meeting was held with the protesters but talks failed. “Dialogue failed. Govt & ISI threatened the Dharna participant with direct shooting. All the lovers of the Prophet and Ahle Sunnat public should gear up to embrace martyrdom for the honor of the Prophet. We won’t bend to any threat, tomorrow nation wide wheeljam strike will be observed” the TLP chief tweeted.

TLP leaders insists that the decision of the court is not based on merit and facts have deliberately been manipulated to give relief to Ms. Asia. But the chief justice of Pakistan has categorically rejected such allegation. The CJP said yesterday that there was no proof against the lady. “We are ready to sacrifice ourselves for the Prophet’s (PBUH) honor. But we are not judges only for Muslims,” Justice Nisar asserted. “If there is no proof against someone, how can we punish them?

Read more: “Strict Action”: Polls show a majority of people against TLP Actions

It is worth mentioning here that the PTI is being supported by the opposition parties as well. A government delegation, upon Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives, met with Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif, after which the information minister briefed the press in Islamabad.

Analysts suggest the government to be very careful if it decides to use force to disperse the protesters and restore peace and order in Lahore and Islamabad.

“We have taken Shahbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto into confidence regarding the future course of action,” Chaudhry said, adding that the opposition had assured the government of “full cooperation” on its strategy. “We will move forward with the opposition’s support,” he said, adding that any steps taken by the government would be in accordance with the wishes of the Assembly.

Mr. Bilawal Bhutto was the first opposition leader who spoke in support of the government and assured the authorities of full cooperation. He also maintained that fight against extremism could not be won without being on the same page. Now the talks have failed and the protesters are inciting more and more violence the government is expected to take a stern action.

Read more: Who is Khadim Hussain Rizvi?

It is also important to mention here that traffic in mega cities has been jammed for last two days, educational institutions closed and many vehicle were set on fire by the protesters. Mobile service in major cities like Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi has been suspended by the authorities.

Analysts suggest the government to be very careful if it decides to use force to disperse the protesters and restore peace and order in Lahore and Islamabad. Today is Friday and if the government prefers to start the operation after Jumma prayer it is likely that the protesters will be more in numbers and will give tough time to the law enforcement agencies.

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