Islamabad (Web Desk): Minister of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri on Saturday said that a 12-member committee has been constituted to mediate talks between government and the leadership of proscribed Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP).
Talking to media persons after attending a meeting of the government and religious scholars belonging to the Barelvi school of thought, with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair, the minister said that the committee is in talks with the government as well as the leaders of the proscribed organisation.
Qadri said religious leaders from across the country met the prime minister and expressed the resolve to wrap up the matter peacefully.
“The premier told the meeting's participants that the incumbent government has always welcomed meaningful and serious talks,” Qadri said.
He added that the premier also told the ulema that their suggestions, which might save the country from bloodshed, will also be considered.
The minister said he was confident that the situation will improve as a result of these talks. He said the religious scholars have assured of their cooperation for peaceful resolution of the issue.
Speaking on the occasion, President Sunni Ittehad Council (Faisalabad) Sahibzada Hamid Raza said the prime minister had assured the meeting's participants that the government would not use "torture" to curtail the protests.
Raza said the prime minister told the meeting that he did not wish to see bloodshed in the country, but noted that there would be "no compromise when it came to the writ of the state."
The SIC president said that the protesters have been urged to not resort to violence as negotiations were underway in different parts of the country.
When asked whether the protest was a constitutional right, Raza said that the protesters should remain where there and not move forward as it might sabotage the negotiations.
Earlier in the day, President Dr Arif Alvi also called upon the Ulema to play their positive role in defusing the ongoing tense situation in the country by promoting Islam’s true message of peace.
The president expressed these views in a consultative meeting with a delegation of Ulema of Ahle-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaat from different districts led by Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noor ul Haq Qadri in Islamabad, the Radio Pakistan reported.
The meeting deliberated upon various options to address the current situation in a peaceful manner and emphasised on resolving the matter through negotiations.
President Alvi said that the present government raised voice against Islamophobia and for the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) at all international forums and advocated the stance in an effective manner.
The Ulema stressed that violence would negatively impact the image of the country as well as the religion of Islam.
They offered their support and services to resolve the situation peacefully and in an amicable way.
On the other hand, thousands of workers of the proscribed TLP continued their sit-in in Wazirabad for a second day on Saturday as they waited for instructions from their leaders to move ahead.
Roads remained blocked and traffic suspended as the protestors intending to march on Islamabad encamped near the city.
Outside Wazirabad, the law enforcers have dug trenches and placed barricades on the roads in an attempt to contain the mob near a crossing over the Chenab.