ISLAMABAD: The government has placed containers at the Faizabad Interchange in addition to sealing entry and exit points of Islamabad in a bid to stop the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) from marching on the federal capital to seek the expulsion of the French envoy.

Meanwhile, Islamabad and Rawalpindi have been put on high alert with the police and Rangers contingent deployed on important intersections. The security was increased in the light of clashes between police and the TLP workers in Lahore as well as the party’s protest call to reach Islamabad on April 20.

According to reports, the TLP leadership called upon its to gather on the grave of its late chief, Khadim Rizvi, in Lahore ahead of the rally.

Amid tightened security, the roads leading to Islamabad from Rawalpindi and vice versa are also blocked for traffic with containers placed on all the routes leading to the Red Zone to dissuade the protesters from reaching the diplomatic enclave.

In Rawalpindi, the district administration has also blocked several roads to stop the march on Islamabad. It has placed containers at T-Chowk Rawat, Soan Bridge, Peshawar Road, Banni, Murree Road, Mareer Chowk, and Motorway Road.

In the light of a potential TLP rally, the government has deployed heavy contingent of police and Rangers at all entry and exit points of the cities. A heavy contingent of police and Rangers has been deployed at Faizabad, Bhara Kahu, Rawat, Tarnol, Tamrari, and other parts of the city.

Last Monday, countrywide protests broke out following the arrest of TLP chief Saad Rizvi. Several offices and organisations were forced to close early on account of the intensity of the protests, with several workers stranded in offices.

The massive round of demonstrations came as a result of taking Rizvi into pre-emptive custody ahead of the 20 April deadline for the group’s demands to be put forth to the parliament. The government subsequently banned the TLP and started a crackdown on its leadership.

However, the situation turned ugly, with clashes between police and the TLP workers resulting in the death of several people and injuries to hundreds. However, the talks between the government and TLP last night were successful. The government will release the workers of the far-right party detained under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) while the TLP agreed to call off the sit-in.

According to an agreement with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik, the PTI government had to put their demands to the parliament which included policies like “expelling the French ambassador, severing ties with France and boycotting French products”.


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