Lahore: Eleven Pakistani cops seized by supporters of a radical Islamist group as a part of their marketing campaign to get the French ambassador expelled have been launched, officers stated Monday.
The officers had been grabbed as hostages Sunday by supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) throughout violent protests in Lahore.
Video circulating on social media — and confirmed unofficially by police as real — confirmed a few of them bloodied and bruised, with bandages round their heads.
Inside Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed stated the police had been launched early Monday after “negotiations” with the TLP, which the federal government banned final week after successfully labelling it a terrorist organisation.
The officers had been held at a TLP mosque stronghold in Lahore, which is now full of supporters and surrounded by police.
“Negotiations have been began with TLP; the primary spherical accomplished efficiently,” stated Rashid in a video on Twitter.
“They’ve launched 11 policemen who had been made hostages.”
He stated a second spherical of negotiations would happen later Monday, though it isn’t clear what they may talk about.
Beforehand the TLP had set an April 20 deadline for the expulsion of the French ambassador.
The group has been behind an anti-France marketing campaign for months since President Emmanuel Macron defended the suitable of Charlie Hebdo journal to republish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad — an act deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.
Protests paralyse cities
Final week the embassy in Pakistan suggested its nationals to depart the nation — a name that seems to have gone largely unheeded.
“The TLP folks have gone contained in the Mosque and the police have additionally stepped again,” stated Rashid.
“Hopefully, the remainder of the problems will probably be settled within the second spherical.”
Rioting has rocked the nation for the previous week because the chief of the TLP was detained in Lahore after calling for a march on the capital.
The protests have paralysed cities and led to the deaths of six policemen.
TLP leaders say a number of of the social gathering’s supporters had been killed in Sunday’s clashes.
“We can’t bury them till the French ambassador is kicked out,” Allama Muhammad Shafiq Amini, a TLP chief within the metropolis, stated in a video assertion.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s authorities has struggled to deliver TLP to heel over time, however this week introduced an outright ban in opposition to the group — successfully labelling it a terrorist outfit.
Nonetheless, on Saturday he steered the social gathering hadn’t been banned for its ideology, however fairly its strategies.
“Let me clarify to folks right here & overseas: Our govt solely took motion in opposition to TLP underneath our anti-terrorist legislation once they challenged the writ of the state and used avenue violence & attacking the general public & legislation enforcers,” he tweeted.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)