Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry vowed on Wednesday that the state will not tolerate the outlawed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), and announced that the government has decided to treat the party as a “militant” organisation.
Addressing a press conference after the cabinet meeting, Fawad said sternly that the state’s “patience” in dealing with the organisation has ended.
“Everyone has a right to idea. You can be against it or in support of it. To say that if you do not follow my idea I will run over you with a gun this cannot happen,” said Fawad. If we start “distributing” the government’s “right to violence to private groups then the state will finish”, he said.
“It was a clear decision made that such an activity will not be tolerated. We will not tolerate anyone challenging the writ of the state,” said Fawad about the cabinet’s decision on dealing with the outlawed organisation.
The minister also warned that people who misunderstand the ability of the Pakistani state should know that Pakistan has defeated “big terrorist” organisations like Al Qaeda.
Comparing the TLP to a terrorist organisation, Fawad said that TLP was insignificant as it does not have the weapons that others had.
The minister remarked that the state was “patient” in dealing with the state because it did not want the blood of the people to flow on the streets.
“Last time six policemen were martyred and over 700 were injured. Now, three policemen have bene martyred in two days,” lamented Fawad.
The minister said that in a PM Imran Khan in a meeting which was attended by the army, intelligence agencies and related officials took a “clear policy decision” on the matter.
“And decision is that TLP will be treated like a militant party. We will not treat them as a political party,” said Fawad. He also urged other institutions to fulfil their responsibility in dealing with the organisation.
“In a short while IG Punjab will do his press conference and will brief on operations. PM has directed by interior minister to brief the nation minute by minute. We showed a lot of restraint, so far,” warned Fawad.
Fawad asks fake news spreaders to review actions
The minister also asked fake news spreaders on social media and YouTube to review their actions.
“This fake news culture that has been created we will not tolerate it. We will come hard on you,” said Fawad. He also warned that the government will go to any extent in dealing with the issue.
“You will see we will come hard on people spreading fake news,” said Fawad, adding that PTA has also been issued clear instructions.