PPP leaders term govt-TLP agreement ‘surrender by the state’

Published November 2, 2021
PPP Senators Raza Rabbani and Sherry Rehman address a press conference in Karachi in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV/File
PPP Senators Raza Rabbani and Sherry Rehman address a press conference in Karachi in this file photo. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: Terming the agreement between the government and the proscribed Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) a “surrender by the state”, the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday asked the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) to make the deal public and present it before parliament.

The demand for making the government-TLP deal public came from three different PPP senators through their separate statements a day after the members of the negotiating team from the government side announced that they had reached an ‘agreement’ with the TLP in order to end the nearly two-week-long impasse, but refused to divulge its details.

The PPP leaders questioned the logic behind keeping the deal secret and stated that the people of Pakistan and their elected representatives had every right to know the details and the contents of the agreement that had been signed in the darkness of night.

Call for presenting the details of deal before parliament

The announcement regarding the signing of the deal had been made by Mufti Munibur Rehman during a press conference with the members of the government team comprising Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan on Sunday.

Refusing to share the contents of the deal, Mufti Munib had said that its details would be made public at an ‘appropriate time’ and added that its ‘positive results’ would be visible to the nation during the next 10 days.

Besides Mufti Munib, head of the Saylani Welfare Trust Bashir Farooq Qadri, leading businessmen Aqeel Karim Dhedi and Haji Rafique Pardesi had reportedly been named as “guarantors” in the agreement.

In a statement, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said it was a matter of concern that the government or the state required individuals to act as guarantors of such an agreement. “When an individual acts as a guarantor between the government and citizens, it depicts that the government has lost the moral high grounds and the confidence of the people,” said Mr Rabbani.

In a separate statement, PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said the government should inform parliament and the nation about the agreement signed in the darkness of night.

“The citizens of this country have a right to know what has been agreed with a banned organisation that had paralysed the country, disrupted everyday life and business for 12 days and martyred innocent policemen,” he added.

Similarly, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman in her statement said the act of keeping the agreement secret had created many questions in the mind of the people of Pakistan. She asked as to what was there in the agreement which the government wanted to disclose “at an appropriate time”.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2021

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