Islamabad, Nov 17 (IANS) The two-day long complete blackout of cellular services, closure of all routes with blockades and containers, pushing the locals of the federal capital Islamabad and its twin city Rawalpindi into a complete choked situation, which resulted in the wake of a massive protest sit-in by religious group Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), finally ended after successful negotiations with the government.
The TLP leadership announced the end to the protest sit-in, staged at the Faizabad interchange, saying that the government had accepted all of its four demands.
Thousands of TLP supporters led a rally from Rawalpindi and staged it at the main entry point, the Faizabad interchange, that connects Islamabad and Rawalpindi, demanding removal of the French Ambassador in Islamabad in protest against the French Prime Minister, who had justified making of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad.
Thousands of TLP supporters took part in the anti-France rally and sit-in, vowing to not leave until the French Ambassador is not expelled and sent out of his office.
The government negotiation team led by Minister of Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Qadri, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah and Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, negotiated with the TLP leadership, calling them to end the protest as both cities were completely chocked and locals were suffering to zero connectivity or commute for work or in case of emergency.
As per the written agreement signed between the TLP leadership and the government team, it has been agreed that the government will take a decision form the Parliament regarding expulsion of the French ambassador within three months and will not appoint its Ambassador to France.
The agreement also stated that all the arrested workers of the TLP, who had been arrested after violent confrontations with security forces and police authorities, will be released with immediate affect.
The agreement also agreed that there will be no case registered against any of the leaders of the TLP.
The agreement was reached after the government wrote off any possibility of an all out operation against the TLP protesters.
Prime Minister Imran Khan ordered immediate talks and peaceful resolve of the unrest.
TLP has been demanding expulsion of the French ambassador, boycott of French products, release of its arrested workers and no case registration against the TLP leadership.
TLP leader and its supporters had gone through several confrontations with the security forces during the rally on Sunday night where teargas was used to disperse them.
Dozens of arrests were also made in different parts of the Punjab province as TLP supporters tried to lead rallies towards the Federal capital.
Security forces and the administration has put up over 400 containers in different parts of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, sealing off all routes leading to the Faizabad interchange.
The diplomatic enclave and specifically the French Embassy was sealed with containers, ensuring that the protest does not move ahead of the Faizabad interchange.
The district administrations of the twin cities had also sealed entry points, at least 24 of Rawalpindi and 16 in Islamabad with containers and heavy trucks.
The violent clashes with the protesters resulted in injuries to around 26 police officials, while cases were registered against 850 people of the TLP and arrests were also made.
It was a sign of relief for the locals, who suffered to the closure of routes, suspension of cellular services and fear of continued clashes, after an agreement was reached and life was brought back to normalcy.