Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Thursday that in view of the situation arising out of the illegal activities of a banned party, Prime Minister Imran Khan has convened a meeting of the National Security Committee on Friday (today). In a tweet, he said that other issues related to national security would also be considered in the meeting. Chaudhry’s statement came as thousands of TLP workers left Kamoke and entered Gujranwala city on Thursday, continuing with their long march to Islamabad. Fawad ruled out possibility of negotiations with proscribed TLP until it clears all the roads and hands over the culprits who martyred policemen during recent clashes. In a tweet, he urged the patriots to distance themselves away from the ongoing protests of the proscribed TLP and return home instead of becoming part of a campaign which as tantamount to terrorism against state. Meanwhile, in another tweet, the minister, responding to a journalist’s question, made it clear that there was a difference between protest of a ‘political party’ and a ‘proscribed party’. He also cited the example of protest launched by different political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). All those political movements were not armed, he said, adding it was unfortunate that some ‘half-baked intellechawals’ were trying to portray ‘terrorism’ of a banned organization as a ‘political matter’. A day earlier, Fawad had said that the top leadership had decided to treat the proscribed TLP as a ‘militant group’ for persistently challenging the writ of the state by creating chaos with the support of the anti-state elements. “On Tuesday, a clear policy decision was taken in a meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by the Pakistan Army, Intelligence Agencies and all the concerned authorities, that the proscribed Tehreek-e-Labaik will be treated as a militant group,” he said while addressing a post-cabinet briefing here. “We will not treat this organization as a political party,” he had said, while urging other relevant departments especially the Election Commission of Pakistan to play their role in this regard. The minister said, the matter pertaining to the organization would be dealt in a same manner as of other terrorist organizations that were annihilated in the past. Fawad said Pakistan had defeated terrorist organizations like Al-Qaida in the past. “Therefore, make no mistake in considering Pakistan a weak state. Whosoever has committed mistake of perceiving Pakistan as a weak state, they regretted,” he added. Referring to long march of TLP on the GT Road, he said this was a proscribed organization and a militant group instead of religious one. The proscribed TLP would not be allowed to challenge writ of the state at any cost. Separately on Thursday, Fawad said that the government was unable to give subsidy on daily use items especially edibles and petroleum products due to repayment of the foreign loans taken by the previous governments. He said from 1947 to 2008, Pakistan took loans amounting to Rs 6,000 billion to execute mega projects and build institutions, while Rs 23,000 billion was borrowed during the past two tenures of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) (2008-18). Last year, he said the country had to return $10 billion loan, whereas this year, the amount stands at $12 billion. In such a situation, it is not possible for the government to pass on maximum relief to the consumers, he added. He said prices of commodities have increased globally after the outbreak of coronavirus, adding ‘Pakistan is no exception’. He said prices of petroleum products in the international market had witnessed a sharp rise and Pakistan has to import oil products. He said, in the past, Pakistan was self-sufficient in natural gas but now its reserves are depleting by 9 per cent every year, so it is also being imported.