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Pakistan govt yields to banned Islamist group; release 350 workers

ANI | Updated: Oct 25, 2021 16:02 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 25 (ANI): Giving in to pressure from the proscribed hardline Islamist group, the Pakistan government on Sunday released over 350 workers of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and announced that the cases against others would be withdrawn by Wednesday.
"We have released 350 TLP workers up to now and we are still waiting to open both sides Road of Muridke as per the decision with TLP," Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed tweeted.
The Imran Khan government is also working on a plan to release TLP's jailed chief Saad Rizvi, Dawn newspaper reported.
This comes after TLP warned on Sunday that its workers will stage a sit-in in Muridke near the city of Lahore and then move to Islamabad by Tuesday evening.
"The government has gone back on its word thrice. This time we will sit and wait," said a statement issued by the proscribed group's leadership council on Sunday.
Hundreds of TLP workers took to the streets throughout the country to exert pressure on the government for the release of its chief, Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi.

"No one will go home until the entire TLP leadership, including chief Saad Hussain Rizvi, comes to the container and makes an announcement," said the statement. "Even if a member of the council says go home without Saad Rizvi, you may shoot that leader too," it added.
Rasheed Ahmad earlier on Sunday had said all the cases against the protestors of TLP will be dropped by Wednesday.
This announcement was made after an eight-hour-long meeting between the arrested Saad Rizvi and the Imran Khan government, ARY News reported.
Rasheed had said the ban on TLP will also be reviewed in the days to come. The Pakistani publication also stated that a plan is being devised for the release of its chief Saad Rizvi's release.
On Saturday, the Interior Minister returned to his country after he was called back by Imran Khan, to deal with the ongoing security situation in the country.
Pakistan Interior Minister was forced to return to Pakistan after TLP had announced that it will start a "long march" towards Islamabad on Friday against the detention of its chief Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi, Pakistani news channel Geo News reported.
Thousands of personnel of various Pakistani forces were deployed on Saturday to stop a possible march to Islamabad by the hardline Islamist group. (ANI)