Amidst the negotiations between the Government of Pakistan (GOP) and the leaders of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), there is a general air of confusion and grief because of how the events unfolded. With the protestors taking up arms and terrorising local property, people of Pakistan were expecting strict action as per the speech of Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan. However, the government has very intelligently managed to diffuse the situation in its favour. Had the government responded with violence at this point, the mob had the ability to shut down cities and towns because the problem was not concentrated in a single area.

According to the clauses of the negotiation, the government has accepted to not interfere in the review petition filed against the verdict of the Asia Bibi case. Legally, the government cannot interfere in a case undergoing petition in the Supreme Court (SC). This matter alone is dealt with by the concerned court and it is their judgment which finalises the verdict. The review at this point only means that the SC will go over the request and take out a judgment based on it.

Another request was to put Aasia Bibi’s name in the Exit Control List (ECL). This cannot be done without the due legal course and the government has decided to review this request legally as well. This only means initiating a process and finding out whether the clauses apply to her case to be put into the ECL. Surrendering to the request would have meant her name being on the ECL, which the government tactfully bypassed. The release of the arrested individuals of TLP is a gesture which ensures the government is willing to compromise and a promise of the investigation of those hurt during the protests is also due legal course which, if the government had not involved itself in, would have been taken up by the police force.

The greatest achievement at this point is the apology offered by the TLP. This has not only dismembered the protest but also given the government ample time to work out a thorough strategy to not only protest Aasia Bibi but also strategise for future cases on how to eradicate the political presence of such organisations in the Pakistani political scene. With mega-scale projects promising development in Pakistan and the diplomatic efforts to gain some foreign political ground, stability is key to these outcomes; which will only stem out of a rigorous implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).