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Hundreds of TLP activists released as govt implements secret deal

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The government has released hundreds of activists of banned Tehreek-e-Labbak Pakistan (TLP) in line with a confidential agreement it had signed with the protesting religious group on Sunday.

According to credible reports, the government has already taken steps to implement the deal which is yet to be made public.

TLP chief Saad Rizvi will also be freed as per the agreement.

Implementation of the agreement started after a Monday meeting of the steering committee formed by Prime Minister Imran Khan to work out how the deal would be executed.

Federal Minister Ali Mohammad Khan chaired the meeting. It was attended by Punjab’s Minister for Law Raja Basharat, secretaries of the federal interior ministry, additional chief secretary of the Punjab Home Department, other officials, as well as some members of the TLP.

According to the Punjab Home Department, 860 persons who were not facing any formal charges have been released across Punjab.

The meeting also decided to withdraw its appeal filed against the release of TLP leader Saad Rizvi. The government had earlier challenged the order of a Lahore High Court (LHC) bench regarding Rizvi’s release.

Saylani Welfare Trust Chairman Maulana Bashir Farooqui, who was present during negotiations between the TLP and the government, said the agreement cannot be made public before the 10th day of the deal, even as he assured that its contents “do not go against the national interest”.

News of an agreement between the government and TLP was announced Sunday in a sombre press conference hosted by officials from the PTI government’s negotiating team.

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