Pakistan opposition corners government on deal with Islamist group
Opposition parties in Pakistan came hard on the government for inking a deal last year with the Tareek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a radical Islamist group responsible for recent violent protests, reported Dawn.
“When the government knew that it could not sever bilateral relations with France, then why such an agreement was signed with TLP,” Naveed Qamar, a leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) asked the government on Friday in parliament.
The Pakistan government last year had reached an understanding with the group that they would consult parliament, considering the demands of the group. Following the controversial remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron on radical Islam last year, the TLP has been demanding the expulsion of the French envoy and a ban on French imports.
The government, however, denied signing any deal with the group. However, a written understanding, as reported in local media, reads, “The government will make a decision from the Parliament regarding the expulsion of the French ambassador within three months, will not appoint its ambassador to France and release all the arrested workers of the TLP.”
Opposition leaders also alleged that parliament had not been consulted regarding the government actions on banning the group. The group was banned as a terrorist entity this week following large-scale violent protests across major cities in the country.