‘Agreement reached’: Govt team alongside TLP leaders address press conference following negotiations

Government officials and Mufti Muneebur Rehman are currently addressing a press conference in Islamabad on negotiations with the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Mufti Muneeb, the first to speak from the line-up also featuring TLP members Mufti Ghulam Abbas Faizi and Mufti Mohammad Ameer, announced that negotiations between the government and TLP have been “successful”.
“The agreement was reached after sense prevailed over aggression. Rationality prevailed over sentiments, and all the participants demonstrated patience,” he said.
“I want to urge the entire nation that this is not the victory of any individual, but it is the victory of Islam, patriotism, and protection of human lives.
“I want to tell the nation that these dialogues were never not held under any duress. They were held in a serious, responsible and independent environment, [in which] everyone made their contribution. Everyone deserves to be thanked for it.”
According to a handout by the Press Information Department (PID), Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and MNA Ali Mohammad Khan were to originally address the press conference alongside Mufti Muneeb at 11:15am.
However, the press conference was delayed, with foreign minister telling reporters at the PID that it would be held “shortly”. The PID later announced that the press conference would be held at 3:15pm before revising the timing again to 2:45pm.
A day earlier, a new negotiating team — led Qureshi and comprising Qaiser and Khan — met TLP leaders while Prime Minister Imran Khan met with senior clerics at his Banigala residence.
A senior TLP leader said negotiations were the only way forward and everybody wanted a way out of the current situation, however, the behaviour of some cabinet members was irresponsible.
“Why did they brand us Indian agent; the whole nation wants to know who is getting money from the enemies,” the TLP official, speaking from hiding, said, adding that, “we have asked the government to change the negotiating team which does not insult us after the meeting”.
Meanwhile, the TLP acknowledged the meeting in a press statement, saying that a meeting with the government team was held in Rawalpindi. In its second release issued late in the night, the TLP agreed to abide by all assurances it had given the government, including stopping the march in Wazirabad.
The government had resumed talks with TLP, though this time the negotiating team primarily consisted of senior clerics from the Barelvi school of thought.
Despite taking all measures against the banned outfit’s protest march, the government decided to resume talks and brought senior leaders of the organisation, already in the custody, to the federal capital in the early hours of Saturday morning.
According to sources in the TLP, Mufti Muneeb also met the outfit’s incarcerated leader Saad Rizvi in Islamabad.
Following these renewed efforts, cabinet members also softened their tone, with Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Religious Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi restrained from issuing statements against the banned outfit.
Official sources said Saad Rizvi and three senior members of the TLP ‘Shura’ — Maulana Shafiq Amini, Engineer Hafezullah and Pir Inayatul Haq — were brought to Islamabad from Lahore for direct negotiations.

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