Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Wednesday said the government has decided to ban Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) under Anti-Terrorism Act on the request of Punjab government. “The government of Punjab has recommended to ban the TLP. It has been decided to ban the TLP due to its character and not due to any political compulsion. A summary would be forwarded to the federal cabinet in this regard for approval,” he said while addressing a press conference here. Two policemen have been martyred and 340 personnel sustained injuries due to violent protests during the last three days, he added. The minister said the TLP leaders used to come for talks with government after giving instructions of road closures to their workers. He said the TLP workers were ready to create further unrest therefore it has been decided to ban it. Sheikh Rashid said the TLP workers by blocking roads in various cities disrupted the smooth flow of traffic and even ambulances and other vehicles carrying oxygen cylinders for Covid-19 patients being treated at various government hospitals could not reach their destinations timely. He said the TLP activists wanted to converge at Faizabad Chowk in Islamabad at all costs but their extensive preparations were effectively countered by the police. He said the Grand Trunk Road and motorways have now been cleared for all kinds of traffic while Faizabad in Rawalpindi will be opened soon. The interior minister said those who blocked the roads and disseminated the messages of unrest through social media would definitely be brought to justice. He called upon the TLP members running the social media to surrender because they are mistaken that they can create problems for the government through it. He said the police personnel were made hostage by the TLP workers to bargain their demands but they have now returned to their police stations. He said Pakistan Rangers has done an excellent job in collaboration with the police and administration. He said efforts were made till the last moment to convince them to agree on a resolution to be presented in the assembly but all of the efforts went useless as they wanted such content to be incorporated in it which was unacceptable for the government. “We want a document that elevates the flag of Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), but their demands are to portray Pakistan as an extremist state on the globe,” he maintained. He said the government is still committed to present a bill regarding Namoos-i-Risalat in the National Assembly and has held several meetings in this regard with TLP leaders. He said the government intended to move ahead with the agreement made with the TLP earlier but all went in vain due to their attitude. He said miscreants snatched a rifle from a police officer and used it to fire on others in one of the protests. To a question, Sheikh Rashid said the first information reports were filed against the protestors in accordance with the law. “As far as the matter of Finality of Prophethood (Khatam-e-Nabwat) is concerned, there is no compromise on it and I am ready to give my life.” To a question, he said he never supported the TLP nor met with Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the criminals involved in violence against police and other institutions would be given an exemplary punishment. The state had never been blackmailed by such thugs and would never be, he said in a series of tweets. The minister said in democracy, different groups were allowed to have their own points of view, but no one could blackmail the government by force. He said the police and other law enforcement agencies are pride of the nation. All over the world, the uniformed people are considered a symbol of the state’s honour and it was obligatory on every citizen to protect their protection honour and dignity. Those who have violated that principle, he said, are national criminals and should be treated as such. Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also strongly condemned violence in different parts of country during last three days in which two policemen among seven people were killed in different incidents. In a statement on Wednesday, the PPP chairman said that this kind of violence, ransacking, vendalizing public and private properties and mob attacks on policemen cannot be allowed to go unchecked. Those responsible must be dealt with in accordance to the law, he added.