Mufti Muneebur Rehman on Monday claimed that the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) had never wanted the government to expel the French ambassador, neither did they want the closure of the country’s embassy, disputing reports that these were the group’s key demands.
“The ministers had lied […] the people who held talks with TLP had lied about [the group] asking for the French ambassador’s expulsion, closure of the embassy, and severing ties with the Europen Union,” he told journalists in Karachi.
The proscribed group and the government had reached an agreement yesterday, but the specifics of the deal have not been made public yet.
The religious personality said people would soon see the proscribed group re-emerge as “a lawful political force”.
Rehman said he, Saylani Welfare Trust Chairman Maulana Bashir Farooqui, and Maulana Abid Mubarak had gone to Islamabad on Saturday to settle issues between TLP and the government.
“We wanted to settle the issue with wisdom and behind closed doors […] we asked the government to refrain from using force, as unwise use of force is akin to tyranny,” he said.
“The government would strike an agreement in the morning, and in the evening, someone on TV would say the agreement had no legal standing.” The scholar said he had wanted an empowered committee, which would have the authority to make decisions on behalf of both sides.
Talking about his meeting with the TLP leadership, he said the proscribed group’s leadership told him that the government had “violated” its agreement with them several times, and thus, they did not trust the Centre.
“Whatever we did, we did it in the best interest of the state,” he said.
Mufti Rehman slams ‘liberals’
The scholar said “some liberals” had asked where the writ of the state was during the protests.
“If the country’s liberals sound worried, then we can assume that someone is doing the right thing,” he said.
“Some liberals are provoking the government […] in the government’s hard times, these liberals will be the first ones to flee,” Rehman said.
Mufti Rehman said everyone will soon know the specifics of the agreement and its implementation will also be visible.
The government has not released any specifics of the deal, which it had made with the group yesterday.
Rehman said the signs so far are showing that both sides are abiding by their agreement, as the roads reopen for traffic and protesters move to a park in Wazirabad.
“Soon you will hear the news that the protesters have dispersed from the park and ended their protest,” Rehman said as he prayed for the people who have lost their lives during the protests.
“The state should use bullets against the enemy, not on its people.”
In a press conference in Islamabad yesterday, Rehman had said talks with the proscribed TLP have been “successful” and that an “agreement” had been reached.
Details of the agreement, however, he said will be revealed at a “suitable time”. He added that the ‘positive outcomes’ of the agreement would be seen in the coming days.
He said that the agreement reached with the government was not a victory or defeat of any individual, but a victory for Islam and Pakistan.