With reluctance and reservations, the Cabinet approves the summary of the de-proscription of TLP

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid confirmed that the summary had been approved for the prime minister’s action.

The summary was distributed to 27 federal cabinet ministers on Saturday; The consent of 14 ministers was required to approve or reject the abstract. Government sources said there were enough numbers within the cabinet to approve the summary, despite strong opposition expressed by some ministers on the matter for legal and political reasons.

It is also important that the secret agreement between the government and the TLP is also not shared with cabinet ministers (Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Ali Mohammad are exceptions), raising questions about the quality of decision-making by cabinet members.

The cabinet’s decision is not affected by the lack of information or knowledge of the agreement since it is the prerogative of the cabinet member to raise or not raise the issue,” says a former Cabinet secretary who wants to remain anonymous.

The Interior Ministry had cited TLP’s assurance to the government that it will not organize violent protests as a basis for removing the party’s banned status. However, some ministers were reluctant to approve the summary, telling the prime minister that the issue had legal and political repercussions. It was suggested that a thorough discussion be held on both aspects before a final decision. One minister wrote that the prohibition law was outlined in Section 11-B of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 1997, according to which an organization was considered a terrorist group if it commits, facilitates or participates in acts of terrorism; prepares for terrorism; promotes or encourages terrorism; supports and helps any organization with terrorism; sponsors and helps incite hatred and contempt on religious, sectarian or ethnic grounds that cause disorder; it does not expel from its ranks or ostracize those who commit acts of terrorism and portray them as heroic persons.

It is clear that the TLP meets all these requirements and hundreds of ATA cases have been registered against the TLP leadership for acts of terrorism, ”the dissenting note said. The cabinet was reminded that if the organization was not outlawed but the government decided to go ahead with the cases against the TLP leaders, it would defeat the purpose of the law.

It was also noted that Judge Asif Saeed Khosa, in a ruling on the Ghulam Hussain case, had clearly established the ‘design’ and ‘purpose’ conditions of Section 6 of the ATA that defined terrorism, and that the TLP complied with this definition. .

The Supreme Court also, in the Faizabad dharna case, had declared that the activities of the TLP were well beyond constitutional limitations.

These officials argued that the cabinet had strong legal grounds to outlaw the TLP. “There is ample recorded evidence that connects TLP with terrorism, now it is using the power of the street to force the cabinet to reverse its decision, this is also an obvious example of terrorism on the part of this group.”

It was recalled that six policemen died in the line of duty and many others had suffered serious injuries in clashes with the TLP. “It will be a betrayal of the souls of the martyrs if those responsible for their blood are not punished. No one will defend the State if today we betray the police forces, ”argued the official.

The government was also reminded that removing the TLP ban would undermine state authority and the morale of law enforcement personnel, particularly the Punjab Police.The prime minister was told that it was not the first time that the TLP had killed police officers and that incitement by party leaders had also led to attacks on ministers.

The state exercises a monopoly on violence because it must be used fairly to protect the life and property of a common law-abiding citizen. If the State moves away from this responsibility, as it has done here, then everyone should carry arms to defend themselves, ”said the official. “If a peaceful settlement means that the state will not punish those who violate the law, why punish a common street criminal? He is also committing crimes to feed his family, which is a noble cause. Why not give a suicide bomber who is committing suicide a pass in what he believes to be his love for Allah? This argument is not only empty, it is disturbingly dangerous. “The federal government was also reminded that the move to remove the TLP ban also had serious political implications. “If we allow TLP, then we have no justification to ban Altaf Hussain and his section from the MQM, or even the SSP and LeT. They will also claim to have been approved. Their crimes are similar to those of TLP and this precedent will surely apply in their cases as well. ”

The cabinet was urged to carefully examine the sectarian aspect of its decision. “If today we lift the ban on one party of a sect, others will demand the same treatment and the state will find itself in a very dangerous situation.”

The consequences of the decision to remove the TLP ban could also be far-reaching on the world stage. “Such gestures will make Pakistan look very bad in the eyes of the international community. “We are already facing difficulties in selling our narrative internationally; the decision will further isolate Pakistan. The consequences of legitimizing TLP terrorism are beyond comprehension at a time when we also face the scrutiny of the FATF. ”

With reluctance and reservations, the Cabinet approves the summary of the de-proscription of TLP