Pakistan bans radical Islamist party

Pakistan on Wednesday decided to ban a radical Islamist part under the Terrorism Act after its supporters clashed with the law enforcement agencies for the third consecutive day, leaving seven persons dead and over 300 policemen injured. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told the media that the Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) was banned under the Rule 11-B of Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.

Ahmed said that at least two police officials were killed and 340 others injured in clashes with the protestors during the last two days. There were media reports that at least two protestors were also killed. The TLP had launched the country-wide protest on Monday after the arrest of its chief Saad Hussain Rizvi ahead of April 20 deadline the Islamists had given to the Imran Khan government demanding expulsion of the French ambassador for publication of cartoons of the Prophet. The government has deployed Paramilitary forces overnight in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab as police struggled to clear violent sit-ins by Islamists protesting against the arrest of their leader. Pakistan’s parliament in October condemned the display of images in France of the Prophet Mohammad, urging the government to withdraw its ambassador from Paris.