A three-member government team will negotiate with the banned outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on Saturday who had threatened to hold a long march towards Islamabad on Friday.

Sheikh Rashid, who reached Lahore by a special plane, met Religious Affairs Minister Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, Kashmir Affairs Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, the police chief of Punjab among other officials.

On the directives of the prime minister, Qadri arrived in Lahore from Karachi to hold negotiations with the banned outfit’s leadership.

The government’s negotiation team will comprise Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Religious Affairs Minister Qadri and Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat.

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with Qadri on Saturday to discuss the prevailing law and order situation. Talks between the two focused on the banned outfit’s protests. 

“The government believes in resolving issues through dialogue,” said Qadri, adding that protecting the lives and properties of the people is the government’s top priority.

Earlier, PM Imran Khan had also directed Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid to return to the country from the UAE, where he had gone to watch India-Pakistan T20 World Cup clash. 

Two policemen were martyred in Lahore on Friday night after a couple of cars collided during a protest by the banned outfit. Clashes between police and members of the outlawed outfit also resulted in injuries to more than 40 police officials.

PROTEST: On Friday, authorities had suspended the Metro Bus service in Rawalpindi and blocked roads in Islamabad and Lahore as the government braced for protests organised separately by a banned outfit and opposition parties in the cities.

The Ministry of Interior had written to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to suspend internet services in various areas of Lahore due to a banned outfit’s protest.

The provincial government had subsequently suspended internet services around Multan Road, Grand Battery Stop, Iqbal Town, Nawankot, Samanabad and Sabzazar areas of Lahore. 


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