Leadership of Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) on Monday announced to call off their weeks-long sit-in after Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid resigned from his position. A six-point agreement was reached between the protesters and the government on late Sunday night wherein the Army's Major General Faiz Hameed signed the deal as a guarantor.
"The President, on the advice of the Prime Minister, has been pleased to accept the resignation tendered by Zahid Hamid," a notification issued by the Cabinet Division on Monday said. "Accordingly, the appointment of Zahid Hamid as Federal Minister for Law and Justice is de-notified with immediate effect," the notification reads.
The protesters led by a wheelchair-bound religious cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi had blocked the Faizabad, main gateway to Islamabad and Rawalpindi since November 6. They had been demanding the resignation of law minister Zahid Hamid for his alleged involvement in omission of two sections pertaining to status of Ahmadis and changing declaration for legislators in the electoral laws.
The government has restored the laws in their original form, but the protesters were seeking punishment for those who were behind the conspiracy. Addressing a press conference, Khadim Rizvi said that the Army Chief and his team played a special role in brokering a deal between TLYR and the government. He directed his followers across the country to end the sit-in after the government accepted their demands.
"This agreement is reached due to special efforts of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his team," the deal mentions, adding, "We are thankful to them for saving the nation from a big catastrophe." Rizvi said that a number of other demands that are not part of the agreement were also accepted by the government.
He said that a board of clerics led by Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri will be set up to probe remarks made by Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah against the persecution of Ahmadis. Sanaullah will have to accept the decision made by the board. He said the government also agreed not to create any hurdles in registration of cases under clause 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code and no ban will be imposed on use of loudspeakers in mosques.
Under the agreement, the TLYR leadership, however, agreed not to issue a fatwa (decree) of any kind against Zahid Hamid while lauding the government for restoring the sections 7-B and 7-C in their original form. Another point of the agreement says that report of the committee that has worked under PML-N Senator Raja Zafarul Haq would be released in 30 days and those found responsible for making amendments in the laws would be dealt with as per law of the land.
The deal also binds the government to release all arrested workers of the party within three days and all FIRs registered against them would be quashed. An inquiry board would also be constituted to investigate the government's action against the protesters on November 25 and all those found responsible for it would be punished after completing the probe within 30 days.
The government will assess the financial losses to all public and private property during the sit-in and compensate the people accordingly, the agreement says, adding that all those points already agreed upon with the Punjab government would be implemented in letter and spirit. Besides the interior minister, the document bears the signatures of TLYR leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza, two other protest leaders and Major General Faiz Hameed, who facilitated the agreement. Shortly after Khadim Rizvi's press conference, the Islamabad and Rawalpindi administration started to remove shipping containers blocking the roads around the sit-in site and most of the roads were opened for traffic within hours.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2017