Pak opposition blasts Imran Khan govt over 'failure' in handling TLP protest

·2-min read
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 20 (ANI): Pakistan opposition has blasted Imran Khan-led government over its failure in handling Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protest across the country.

Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday said that "shedding of human blood and incitement to violence was never the answer to any situation", recalling that history had taught that "violence begets violence", Dawn reported.

"The real fight is about fighting against the root of the festering problem, not in just responding to the symptoms. Why has the selected government not bothered to implement the National Action Plan, or even discuss arising challenges in parliament?" Bilawal questioned.

He condemned the violence and expressed grief over the deaths of the TLP workers as well as policemen during clashes earlier in the week, which he said occurred because of the government's "inability to handle the situation peacefully".

On Sunday, police in Lahore launched a crackdown against TLP in which three people were killed and many were injured. TLP has, however, been banned by the Pakistan government after violent protests following the arrest of their chief Saad Hussain Rizvi in Lahore on April 12.

Bilawal said the state was responsible for protecting the lives of its people and the government's failure to do so had resulted in dragging the country into "unprecedented chaos and anarchy, exposing both the population and state to risks that are incalculable".

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Secretary-General and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also "strongly condemned" the violence.

"PDM believes that Namoos-e-Risalat (sanctity of prophethood) is the foundation of a Muslim's ideology. No Muslim can compromise on it," Dawn quoted his statement.

Earlier, Mufti Muneebur Rehman, former chairman of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, announced a nationwide strike against the government's handling of the situation in Lahore.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced that he "fully support" the Mufti's call for the strike.

Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan is a hardline religious group with a massive following across Pakistan. TLP is demanding that the French ambassador be sent home and import of goods from France be banned over blasphemous caricatures published in French magazine Charlie Hebdo. (ANI)