Pakistan’s government will move to ban the far-right Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which has held days of violent countrywide protests resulting in the deaths of at least two police officers, the country’s interior minister says.
Protests by the TLP continued in pockets across the country on Wednesday, with Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed confirming that at least two policemen had been killed and more than 340 wounded by demonstrators in the past 48 hours.
“Today we have decided to ban TLP, and this file is going to cabinet for the approval from today,” said Rasheed at a news conference in the capital, Islamabad.
In a later tweet, he said the ban would be issued under Pakistani anti-terrorism legislation.
Rasheed said protesters had abducted policemen in several areas during the demonstrations, but that all law enforcement personnel had now been recovered.
The TLP, a religious group founded by firebrand Muslim leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, has made the issue of perceived “blasphemy” its rallying cry, and has been agitating since November for the expulsion of the French ambassador and a ban on all French goods over remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron last year.
It called off a big sit-in protest that had blocked a main highway into the capital Islamabad in November after reaching an agreement with the government on consideration of its demands. According to Al Jazeera reports.