LAHORE: Pakistan Tehr­­eek-i-Insaf (PTI) Sen­ator Ejaz Chaudhry on Saturday visited Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Hafiz Saad Rizvi to congratulate him on his release after seven-month detention.

Hafiz Rizvi was released from Kot Lakhpat jail on Thursday after reaching an agreement with the government. The government and TLP reached an agreement after many rounds of talks and two weeks of clashes which left seven policemen and an unspecified number of TLP workers dead.

However, the contents of the agreement have not yet been publicly shared.

Senator Chaudhry first paid homage at the shrine of Allama Khadim Rizvi on his first death anniversary and later held a meeting with TLP chief Hafiz Rizvi. He also presented him with a bouquet and congratulated him on his release.

A TLP spokesperson said that the political discourse needed to continue and the door for politics was never closed.

Mr Chaudhry said he had visited Hafiz Rizvi because he had promised to present him a bouquet on his release.

Earlier, speaking in a private news channel programme, Mr Chaudhry said: “I will present a bouquet to Saad Rizvi when he is released.” He also spoke about forming a coalition with TLP in future elections on the TV channel.

He said he came to meet Rizvi as a gesture of goodwill and it was the responsibility of the government to stay in contact with leaders who were different from others. “It is the responsibility of the state to build such ties with the people that create an atmosphere of harmony,” Mr Chaudhry said.

He said TLP had a different past as compared to other political parties and the state should keep liaison with the masses to eliminate misunderstandings and ensure peace.

When the government and TLP had inked the agreement, Mr Chaudhry said he wanted that the agreement should be executed in letter and spirit that eventually happened with the release of Hafiz Rizvi.

He said TLP had a different past as it never remained in power. He hoped that the party would play its positive role in the political canvas of the country.

Answering a question, Mr Chaudhry said he had never met any political party leader without the permission of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

It may be mentioned that Mr Chaudhry had stated that PTI would support TLP candidates, if his party’s candidate Jamshed Iqbal Cheema was disqualified by the Lahore High Court.

However, PTI’s support to TLP subsided as the latter did not field its candidate in the NA-133 by-election scheduled for Dec 5.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2021

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