ISLAMABAD: Though the government has yet to issue clear instructions on how to deal with Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protest, the capital administration and police are working on a plan to handle the situation in line with the standard operating procedure (SOP), sources told Dawn.

TLP launched the march towards Islamabad on Wednesday and will stay here until either the Netherlands ban a blasphemous cartoons competition or the government immediately ends diplomatic ties with the country.

An officer of the capital administration said when they approached the interior ministry for directives it replied to follow the SOP in this regard.

The administration then sought two paramilitary troops of 10 to 12 platoons each from Rangers and the Frontier Constabulary, the officer said.

Contingents of police from Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would also be sought if required, he said.

At the moment, leaves of the capital police have been cancelled and anti-riot units, anti-terrorism squad, capital police reserves and counter-terrorism force have been put on a standby, he stated, adding that Special Branch will provide information about the TLP, including its strength and plans.

The TLP workers are scheduled to spend tonight in Gujrat and are expected to reach Islamabad capital Thursday night or Friday morning.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2018