Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday said the government can not arrest Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi because of the Faizabad agreement, which had contained a provision for the withdrawal of all cases against TLP leaders.
“The government is not backing off, but there is an agreement carrying the signatures of the guarantor [an intelligence chief] and [representatives of] the government and we have to abide by it,” Sanaullah said while speaking to the media.
Rizvi, along with other leaders who participated in the Faizabad sit-in led by Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) last year, has been declared a proclaimed offender by an anti-terrorism court.
The sit-in, after turning violent following a crackdown by police, had concluded with an agreement wherein the government capitulated to most of the protesters’ demands, including that of the removal of then law minister Zahid Hamid.
Maj Gen Faiz Hameed of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had signed the agreement as its ‘guarantor’.
Regarding the recent attack on Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and the attacker’s link with Tehreek-i-Labbaik, Sanaullah said that security should be beefed up and the mindset giving rise to such incidents should be corrected instead.
He demanded that the elements involved in “creating the mindset”, which includes “some elements within the state”, be held accountable instead.
‘Celestial beings running election cell’
Regarding the unspecified ‘celestial beings’ who the PML-N has recently begun blaming for political engineering, the provincial law minister said that they have had a limited role to play in every election in the country, “but this time because of media, social media and people’s awareness, their role will be limited further”.
He, however, stated that the ‘celestial beings’ were not managing but actually contesting elections, alleging that the lists of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidates to be handed tickets were being created by the celestial beings.
“They first threatened the electables with NAB [cases] and are now pleading with them.”
“You can say that they [celestial beings] are working as an election cell,” the minister concluded.