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What does Imran Khan-TLP agreement indicates-peace deal or instrument of surrender?

News Agencies | Updated on: 4 November 2021, 7:29 IST

After several weeks of clashes with banned Islamist group, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and Imran Khan government on last Sunday reached an agreement.

The announcement followed more than two weeks of chaos due to TLP's violent demonstrations, mainly in various cities in Pakistan's Punjab, and deadly clashes with the provincial police force.

But the agreement raises many concerns. "Is government-TLP agreement a deal for peace or an instrument of surrender?" questioned Geo News.

The agreement between the TLP and the government -- held up as an important breakthrough between the parties -- was announced in a sombre news conference attended by representatives from both the government and the TLP.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, who represented the government's negotiating team, and Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman (formerly of Ruet-i-Hilal committee fame), who represented the TLP, were among those present.

"An agreement for peace and betterment has been reached," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told the nation.

Mufti Muneeb described it as "a victory for Islam and Pakistan".

Both declined to shed light on the terms reached. Since then, the secret deal remains a mystery for the masses, but everyone has something to say about it, reported Geo News.

While some PTI ministers have cautiously defended the agreement, the impact and spectacle of yet another round of violent protests have left many surprised why an agreement was made yet again with a proscribed group.

Journalist Zarrar Khuhro shared a brief video recording of the brother of a policeman who was alleged killed and dumped by TLP workers, and the ordeal he and his family had to suffer.

"They [TLP activists] didn't leave anything of my brother's. They destroyed everything. This is all the government's fault," he said, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar are to blame for the exploitation of law enforcers during clashes with TLP.

"This is a stain on Islam's name. Islam doesn't preach killing your own brothers," he said. He sought justice from the government, reported Geo News.

Journalist Azaz Syed, too, took to Twitter to call out the government for striking an agreement with the proscribed group.

He said the "real culprits" behind the martyrdom of a police officer he had shared a picture of were "all the government officials" who supported a contract with TLP.

Another Twitter user, Sheharyar Jaffri (@sheharyaralii), shared a graphic video showing beaten and bloodied policemen being forced to chant "Labbaik Ya RasulAllah".

Other Twitter users criticised the government, with one user saying that "shameless opportunism is the only ideology of manufactured governments".


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First published: 4 November 2021, 7:29 IST