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PM Imran constitutes committee for negotiations with TLP protesters

Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed a high-profile committee to negotiate with the protesters who have brought routine life to a standstill in different parts of the country.
Chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet on Thursday, the premier decided that the committee would first look into the dialogue option to deal with the demonstrators who are protesting against the decision of the supreme court regarding the acquittal of Asia Bibi – a Christian woman accused of blasphemy.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Minister of State for Interior Sheheryar Afridi have been included in the committee.
Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Minister Noorul Qadri and Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mohammad Mehboob Sultan will also be a part of the committee while the premier himself would supervise the process.
The committee was formed a day after the premier warned to call off their protests or the state will establish its writ.
Addressing the nation through a video message on Wednesday, the premier lamented that a small section took to the streets after the verdict and used foul language and incited general public to revolt against the army chief and judges.
“The despicable language used by a small section of the society against the army, judiciary and the government is deplorable. Such language is used by enemies of the state,” Khan said in his address.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court acquitted a Christian woman sentenced to death for allegedly committing ‘blasphemy’ in 2009 on the grounds that the prosecution failed to bolster its case.
Overturning her conviction, the bench ordered to immediately release the Christian woman, who was in jail for past eight years if there is no anymore case against her.
The allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009, when she was labouring in a field and a row broke out with some Muslim women who alleged that she committed blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). A case was filed against her by a prayer leader in Katanwala village of Nankana Sahib.
Bibi was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 2010 by a trial court. She later moved the Lahore High Court against the execution sentence, however, the court had upheld the verdict.

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