The banned Tehreek-e-Lubaik Pakistan (TLP) has once again launched a long march towards Islamabad, claiming failure of talks with the federal government.
Police used tear gas to stop religious activists from marching on GT Road from Sadhoki near Lahore on Wednesday.
Clashes have also broken out between police officers and Tehreek-e-Libek activists.
Protesters reportedly tried to set fire to some trucks parked on the road, while also damaging nearby property. However, some TLP officials called the reports false.
According to local media reports, an official was confirmed dead during clashes between the TLP and police.
Police officials say there are also reports of more officers being targeted in the clashes.
According to reports from Muridke and Sheikhupura hospitals, about 50 injured police personnel have been shifted to hospitals.
Punjab police officials allege that some of the protesters also had weapons, which targeted the officials.
On the other hand, Tehreek-e-Lubaik Pakistan has also claimed that the workers were targeted by the police.
In Punjab, I called Rangers for two months
Pakistan's Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid has announced to call Rangers for the next 60 days.
In a press conference, Sheikh Rashid said that three policemen were killed and 70 others were injured in the clashes. Police were fired upon with Kalashnikovs.
He further said that Punjab government can use Rangers wherever it wants. Rangers have been called in to maintain law and order.
He accused the banned Tehreek-e-Libek Pakistan (TLP) of pursuing a different agenda. Still go back to Lahore Mosque.
He said that there was no trip to France in Pakistan. The TLP has been told that the French embassy cannot be closed.
It should be noted that the demands of the protesters include the expulsion of the French ambassador from the country.
Deadline for the Libek movement
The protest march of Tehreek-e-Lubaik Pakistan left Lahore for Islamabad on Friday, October 22, to get the demands approved. At the beginning of the talks with the government, the protesters had announced to stop the march at Sadhuki.
Religious party leaders had given the government a deadline of Tuesday, October 26, to approve the demands.
Tehreek-e-Libek has demanded the expulsion of the French ambassador and the release of TLP leader Saad Rizvi over the publication of insulting sketches.
There have been several rounds of talks between Tehreek-e-Libek and the government over demands, which have so far been fruitless.
Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Tuesday quoted talks with the TLP leadership as saying that they were ready to discuss and resolve all issues related to the banned Tehreek-e-Libya, except for the expulsion of the French ambassador.
He said it was not possible to oust the French ambassador.
Saddam Bukhari, media coordinator of Tehreek-e-Lubaik Pakistan, told VOA that the government had dug trenches along the way to stop the march and had set up roadblocks with containers.
He said that the workers have started marching towards Islamabad consisting of vehicles, buses and pedestrians.
According to him, preparations are being made to welcome the march and join more people in different cities along the way.
Leader claims missing
Saddam Bukhari said his leaders, who were negotiating with the government, had not been contacted since last night and feared they were in government custody.
He said that the march would now reach its destination in Islamabad and take the form of a sit-in and the members of the shura would decide on the location of the sit-in.
On the other hand, rickshaws have been set up on the entry and exit routes of Islamabad and Rawalpindi on Tuesday evening.
Faizabad Chowk, located at the confluence of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, has been completely closed with containers on all sides.
Besides, containers have also been installed on Murree Road, the main highway of Rawalpindi.
According to the administration of the federal capital, security in the twin cities has been placed on high alert and a heavy contingent of police and Rangers has been deployed to maintain law and order in Islamabad.
It may be recalled that at the beginning of the long march, two police officers were confirmed dead in Lahore due to clashes between protesters and police. The TLP also claimed that several of its workers had been targeted in the clashes.
. (tagsToTranslate) خبریں (t) پاکستان (t) pakistan (t) punjab (t) protest (t) tlp