Islamabad [Pakistan], October 29 (ANI): Amid the ongoing protest by the banned Islamist group Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has warned the group to 'go back or things will be out of my hands' and urged them to stick to the promises they had made to the government.
In a news programme show on Thursday, the minister stated that the government would stop the TLP from entering the capital city of Islamabad, Dawn newspaper reported.
He said that while the government does not want violence, (Pakistan) Prime Minister Imran Khan would not allow the country to become "hostage".
Furthermore, the minister informed that he had spoken to the TLP leadership several times in recent days and would talk to them again on Friday and Saturday. "However, the talks would only be held after [the TLP] returns," he was quoted as saying by Dawn.
This statement follows several days of unsuccessful negotiations between the TLP and the Imran Khan government. In the past few days, several clashes have been reported including one outside Lahore, after TLP tried to resume its march on Islamabad to pressurise the government to accept its demands.
At least four policemen were killed and over 250 injured during the clashes on Wednesday. During a press conference, Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Wednesday had said the government has decided that the TLP would no more be dealt with as a political party but as a militant organisation.
"The cabinet has decided to treat TLP as a militant organisation and it will be crushed as other such groups have been eliminated. Pakistani state has defeated major terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda," Chaudhry said.
Earlier, the interior minister had said that the government did not have any "reservations" on the TLP's demands and there was agreement on all issues discussed with the group -- except for the matter of the French ambassador's expulsion.
Hundreds of TLP workers had taken to the streets throughout the country last week to exert pressure on the government for the release of its chief Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi. (ANI)