Islamabad, Nov 8 (EFE).- The radical Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party called off its protest march across the Asian country on Monday, a day after the government lifted the ban on its activities under an anti-terror law.
Following the approval of the cabinet of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country’s interior ministry on Sunday revoked the status of TLP as a proscribed organization, which had been in force since April.
“Upon 50 percent implementation of the agreement (reached with the government) we ended our protest at 3pm and are going back from Wazirabad to Lahore,” TLP spokesperson Ali Raza told EFE.
Last week, the government announced having reached a deal with the TLP to stop their violent protest march that began on Oct.22 to pressurize the authorities to expel the French ambassador in Pakistan.
These protests left at least nine dead and some 100 injured and their origins go back to November last year, when thousands of people took to the streets against the French president and his support for caricatures of Prophet Muhammad.
The incident came at the backdrop of a teacher being decapitated by his student in France for showing the cartoons of the prophet considered blasphemous – in class.
The Pakistan government accepted demands to expel the French ambassador from the country and cut off bilateral relations, but has since reneged on its promise, according to the Islamists.
The protesters, marching from Lahore to Islamabad, were staying in Wazirabad, waiting for the implementation of the agreement reached with the government last week.
Ali Muhammad Khan, minister of state for parliamentary affairs and chief negotiator with the TLP, told EFE that the Islamist party “will be allowed to take part in mainstream politics and in return they will abandon the policy of violent protests.”
The authorities have also released more than 2,000 workers and activists of TLP so far, an official at the Punjab Home Department told EFE on condition of anonymity. EFE