ISLAMABAD: As another deadline given by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) for the government to implement the controversial Faizabad agreement came to an end on Thursday, security was beefed up in the capital and adjoining areas in anticipation of possible agitation.
A heavy contingent of law enforcement agencies has been deployed at the entry and exit points of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
A joint flag-march of the army and LEAs was also held in the capital, according to a security official.
TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi has been leading a sit-in at Lahore’s Data Darbar since April 2 to press for the implementation of the Faizabad agreement, which was brokered by the army last year, between the government and leaders of Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya RasoolAllah (TLYRA).
Last Friday, the party had announced that it would spread the scope of its protest to other cities if the government did not meet its demands by Thursday . Pir Afzal Qadri, chairperson of the TLP, told party workers after the 4pm deadline lapsed on Thursday to “come out on the streets and not go back until Rizvi announces to end the protest”.
TLP leaders are mulling to block the Lahore-Islamabad motorway as well as GT Road to paralyse inter-city movement. “If the 11-point Faizabad agreement, which includes provisions like the release of arrested workers and withdrawal of cases against them, is not implemented, the entire country will be on the roads next Friday,” Qadri had told journalists last week. Last week, the TLP chief and some TLYRA leaders were declared proclaimed offenders by an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad. Law enforcement agencies, however, have been unable to make any arrests.
The spokesman for the Punjab government, Malik Ahmed Khan, had admitted that arresting Rizvi and other TLYRA leaders was proving to be difficult for the provincial authorities.