TPL supporters pakistan protest
Supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party gather in a protest march in Muridke, on October 24, 2021, during a march towards Islamabad demanding the release of their leader Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi, son of late Khadim Hussain Rizvi, founder of hardline religious political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik. Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said on Monday that the government will discuss the demands of the banned radical party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) at a federal cabinet meeting on October 27.

Thousands of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) supporters are currently camped in Muridke, a city some 50km from Lahore and decided to postpone the Islamabad protest till later this week after negotiations with the government. Three policemen were killed in violent clashes between security forces and protesters in Lahore last week.

The government said it had agreed to release 350 TLP activists after negotiations with the group.

The ultra-right-wing group, which is campaigning on the issue of blasphemy, began the protest in Lahore on Friday demanding the release of its chief, Saad Rizvi, who was arrested in April amid similar demonstrations seeking the expulsion of the French ambassador over depictions of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) published in France last year.

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad on Monday, Sheikh Rasheed said he would further discuss the matter with Prime Minister Imran Khan who would be back from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. He also said the government has decided to unfreeze the accounts of TLP madrassas and will allow them to open new accounts.

In April, the Pakistan government declared the TLP a proscribed organisation under anti-terrorism laws and decided to freeze their accounts and assets over violent countrywide protests that resulted in attacks on civilians, ransacking of public and private properties and the death of two police officers.