Pakistan govt announces to deal TLP as terrorist organisation

Country’s National Security Adviser says group crossed red line, exhausted state’s patience

ISLAMABAD (Pukhtun Nama) – Pakistan government on Thursday announced to take strict action against the far-right religious group Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan after the cabinet decision to deal the group as terrorist organisation.

National Security Adviser Moeed Yusuf said, TLP has crossed the red line and carried out massive public disruption.

“For all individuals and groups who think they can challenge the writ of the Pakistani state, do not test the proposition,” Yusuf tweeted.

“As the basic principle of national security, the state will never shy away from protecting each and every citizen from any form of violence. TLP has crossed the red line and exhausted the state’s patience,” he added.

The NSA said the group have martyred policemen, destroyed public property, and continue to cause massive public disruption.

“Law will take its course for each one of them and terrorists will be treated like terrorists with no leniency,” he said and adding government will not allow any armed militia of any sort in the country.

On Wednesday, the government rejected rejected the demand for expulsion of the French ambassador by TLP and announced to deal the group with iron hands.

On Wednesday, thousands of charged activists, who have blocked roads at several points on the historic Grand Trunk Road in northeastern Punjab province, clashed with the security forces, who have been struggling to ward off the protesters from marching toward the capital.

At least three policemen have been killed and over 70 injured in pitched battles between the two sides in different parts of the province over the past two days,” Anadolu Agency quoted the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry as saying.

The group has already been declared a proscribed organization for its alleged involvement in violent activities.

“The government will no longer treat the TLP as a political entity. Instead, we will treat it as a militant group. It has already been declared a proscribed organization,” Chaudhry said, while addressing a press conference after the Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday.

Earlier, the country’s Interior Minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed told reporters in Islamabad that the federal government is sending para-military troops to Punjab for the next two months to assist the police to hold off the protests.

“We cannot shut down the French Embassy. It will mean confrontation with the entire Europe,” AA quoted Ahmed as saying, while addressing a separate press conference.

Protests had broken out in several Muslim countries over France’s response to the murder in October last year of a teacher who showed cartoons of Prophet Muhammad during a class.

French President Emmanuel Macron said at the time that France would “not give up our cartoons” while accusing French Muslims of “separatism” and describing Islam as “a religion in crisis.”