PML-N’s Ashan Iqbal ‘Reveals’ Gen Faiz's Role In Faizabad Sit-In Accord

‘Gen Faiz insisted that the protesting TLP wouldn't recognize the agreement if he didn't sign on as a guarantor’

PML-N’s Ashan Iqbal ‘Reveals’ Gen Faiz's Role In Faizabad Sit-In Accord

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader and former interior minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that Lt Gen (retired) Faiz Hameed insisted on signing the Faizabad sit-in agreement that was made with the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in 2017.

Iqbal said on Monday's episode of the Geo News show "Capital Talk," hosted by senior journalist Hamid Mir, that neither he nor the then-prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi supported a senior army official signing the arrangement.

He said that Gen Faiz had stressed, nevertheless, that if he didn't sign on as a guarantor, the protesting TLP wouldn't recognize the agreement.

The former interior minister said he spoke with the then-prime minister, Abbasi, while the agreement was being prepared. “When I explained the agreement's terms to the prime minister, he added that it would be preferable if General Sahib didn't sign it,” he added.

He said, “I also told General Sahib that, given the political character of the deal, it wouldn't be wise for him and his organization to sign it.”

Iqbal said that Gen Faiz had informed him that the TLP, the opposing side, would not follow the deal unless he signed on as a guarantee.

Last week, former prime minister Abbasi called the Faizabad protest sit-in the "darkest chapter" in Pakistan's history and said that action against those responsible should be taken only if there is evidence and a complaint is filed against them.

The PML-N senior leader advised the party to file a formal complaint against former army generals, including Gen. Faiz, on the condition that the party was serious about pursuing the matter instead of delivering speeches and making statements against them.

The PML-N leaders made their comments as Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa last month resumed hearing petitions regarding the Faizabad sit-in after a four-year break.