Religious leaders announce nationwide shutter-down strike today

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Religious leaders have called for a shutter-down strike across Pakistan today, Monday, in support of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan that was banned by the government for outbreaks of violence and protesting last week.

The former head of the moon-sighting Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s Fazlur Rehman both announced their support Sunday night.  Mufti Muneeb asked the government to release TLP workers and withdraw its ban on the group.

“I announce that after today’s incident, the French ambassador’s exit from Pakistan has been stopped,” said Fazlur Rehman. “I am clearly announcing that if the bodies of TLP martyrs are sent to Islamabad, we will be with them.” He went on to say, “terrorists are not the ones who talk about the honor of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Terrorists are Imran Khan and his cabinet ministers.”

Early Monday Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed announced in a video message that the government had started talks with the TLP. The second round of talks will begin after sehri.

The TLP has released the 11 policemen it held hostage following clashes with the Lahore police on Sunday, Rasheed said, adding that the TLP men have gone to Rehmatul Lil Alameen mosque and the police have also retreated.

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