Federal Cabinet decides to retain ban on TLP

Fawad Chaudhry addressing a post-cabinet meeting press conference

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet today (Tuesday) decided to retain the ban on proscribed organisation Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry announced.

Addressing a post-Cabinet meeting in Islamabad, the Information minister said that a report was presented before the cabinet by a committee that had been tasked to review the decision.

“The committee, in the report, informed that the decision to ban TLP was based on merit, as this proscribed organisation has been blamed for martyring police personnel, torturing them, and burning down places”, he said.

Following the report, the cabinet decided to keep the ban intact, the minister said, adding that the entire cabinet agreed with the findings of the cabinet body and decided against lifting the ban.

The information minister highlighted that now the law ministry and attorney general would take measures aimed at removing the election symbol of the party from the list of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Talking about the other decisions, Fawad Chaudhry said that the cabinet also gave approval to 25 percent special allowance to the armed forces to bring their salaries at par with other departments. “Prime Minister also instructed to extend this facility to Rangers and Frontier Corps (CP) as they were not included initially,” he announced.

He further said the cabinet was informed that Saudi Arabia would release 85 Pakistani prisoners on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha. “A special plane would be dispatched to bring them back from Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding the government is also making strenuous efforts to bring Pakistani citizens detained in different countries on minor charges.

Referring to E-voting machines, the minister reiterated that EVM was vital to ensure transparency in the next general election. “In this regard, the cabinet was informed that unanimity of views has emerged on several issues and efforts are being made to sort out the remaining points,” he added.

Regarding COVID-19 situation in Pakistan, Fawad said 20 million people have so far been vaccinated. “Over half million people were vaccinated yesterday alone, which is the highest number since the start of vaccination drive,” he added.

Urging the people to observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to prevent spread of the pandemic and to get them vaccinated, the Minister said cases in Karachi and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa increased in last few days, while situation in Punjab is under control.

The Minister said that the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions presented a report on Afghan Refugees in Pakistan. “The international community should extend maximum cooperation to bring peace in Afghanistan and resolve the issue of Afghan refugees,” he concluded.