Khattak clarifies he ‘vehemently condemns’ Sialkot lynching

TPL | Published: 10:02 AM Dec 8 2021
Politics Khattak clarifies he ‘vehemently condemns’ Sialkot lynching

Pakistan’s federal defense minister Pervez Khattak has released an explanation for his earlier statement on the lynching of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana in Sialkot and said he “strongly condemns” the incident because “Islam does not allow the killing of people, regardless of their religious beliefs.”

In a video message, the minister said that his earlier statement was circulating in the media, so he would like to give an explanation in this regard.

“I was asked if the Sialkot lynching took place because of the agreement between the government and the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), and in response, I said that no political party or the government should be associated with the incident.”

“Those involved in the incident acted on their own, and did something wrong,” he said, adding that the government is trying to punish the culprits in some way to make an example out of them in Pakistan.

Asked what the government is doing to prevent such incidents from happening again, Khattak said the government has so far arrested all those involved in the incident.

“Others involved in the incident, who are in general, are being tracked, and the government will ensure that they receive the strictest possible punishment.”

It should be remembered that on Sunday, Khattak said that “murders happen when emotions are high in young people.”

“Everyone has a different mindset; a crowd has gathered and someone chanted an Islam-related slogan that caused such an incident,” Khattak added.

The minister acknowledged that he could also be wrong when overcome by emotions, but added that such occasions did not mean “Pakistan is on the brink of disaster.”

He also said there should be “no link between the Sri Lankan man’s lynching of the Sialkot mafia and the government’s decision to relax the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) ban.”

A reporter then asked the minister if he linked the alleged killings of nine policemen by TLP protesters, as well as that of Kumara, to “emotions”.

Khattak immediately shifted the blame to the media, declaring, “Why don’t you change this mindset? Young people are fighting and murders are happening. [at times]. It is the job of the media to inform the youth.“

“The media only accepts advertisements and raises money,” Khattak said.

On November 2, the government began implementing the agreement with TLP, with reports indicating that it had released more than 800 party supporters arrested across Punjab.

One week later, on November 7, the TLP ceased to be a banned organization after the government awarded approval to the Interior Ministry’s summary requesting its repeal of the First Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

TLP was set in the said schedule in April 2021 on the recommendation of the home department of Punjab.


TPL | Published: 10:02 AM Dec 8 2021

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