Home Latest News Mufti Munib Accuses Ministers of Lying Over TLP Demands

Mufti Munib Accuses Ministers of Lying Over TLP Demands

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of Mufti Muneebur Rehman

Addressing media, cleric claims banned group had no interest in expulsion of French envoy and lashes out at ‘liberals’ for demanding government response

Mufti Munibur Rehman, who helped broker an undisclosed agreement between the government and the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) to end its protest, on Monday claimed that ministers had “lied” about the group wanting the expulsion of the French ambassador.

“The ministers lied … the people who held talks with TLP lied about [the group] asking for the French ambassador’s expulsion, closure of the embassy, and severing ties with the European Union,” he said in a press conference. Detailing the events of the past week, he said that he had traveled to Islamabad along with Saylani Welfare Trust Chairman Maulana Bashir Farooqui and Maulana Abid Mubarak to help resolve the issues between the TLP and the PTI-led government.

“We wanted to settle the issue with wisdom and behind closed doors … we asked the government to refrain from using force, as unwise use of force is akin to tyranny,” he said. “The state should use bullets against the enemy, not on its people,” he emphasized. “The government would strike an agreement in the morning, and in the evening, someone on TV would say the agreement had no legal standing,” he said, adding that ulema had wanted the implementation of an empowered committee that would have the authority to make decisions on behalf of both sides.

On his meetings with the TLP leadership, Rehman said they had told him that the government had violated its agreement with them several times and they no longer trusted its lawmakers. “How can trust be established when government officials speak lies publicly?” he said, adding that the people who had negotiated peace were “patriots” who had worked for the country.

“Whatever we did, we did it in the best interest of the state,” he said, reiterating that the details of the agreement would be made public “at an appropriate time.”

The cleric assured the TLP that it would be regarded as “a lawful political force” very soon and slammed “liberals” who had questioned where the writ of the state was during the banned group’s protests. “If the country’s liberals sound worried, then we can assume that someone is doing the right thing,” he said. “Some liberals are provoking the government … in hard times, these liberals will be the first ones to flee,” he added. He also hit out at the media, claiming that much like the Lal Masjid operation in 2007, they were calling for the writ of the state prior to any operation. “But when the unfortunate operation took place they opposed it,” he said.

Rehman claimed that thus far, it appeared both sides were adhering to their agreement, adding that roads had been reopened for traffic and the protesters had moved their sit-in to a park in Wazirabad. “Soon you will hear the news that the protesters have dispersed from the park and ended their protest,” he claimed.

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