ISLAMABAD - The government on Tuesday continued its efforts through backdoor channels to persuade the leadership of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) to end the sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange and the latter has agreed to hold another round of talks.

On the other hand, two senior officials of the Ministry of the Religious Affairs met with Peer Haseen Uddin Shah, the head of the committee formed by the government to negotiate with the protesters’ leadership, and gave him a detailed briefing about the demands of the protesters and the talks held so far.

Meanwhile, Syed Ghulam Nizamuddin Jami — one of the custodians of the shrine of Golra Sharif — initiated his fresh efforts to end the deadlock that persisted between the government and the TLYR leadership over the demand for the resignation or removal of Law Minister Zahid Hamid. Jami visited the protest venue and met with the senior leadership including Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Peer Muhammad Afzal Qadri.

While talking to the media after the meeting, Peer of Golra Sharif said that he hoped that there would be a breakthrough. “I am trying my best to bridge the distance between the government and the religious scholars to convince the government to accept their fair demands,” he said adding their demands were fair.

The TLYR has been holding the sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange, and one of the main avenues of the capital, for the last over than two weeks demanding the resignation of the law minister for making a controversial amendment regarding Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (the finality of Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) through Elections Bill, 2017.

Peer Ijaz Ashrifi, the central nazim information of TLYR while talking to The Nation, said that another round of talks with the government was expected on Tuesday night. He said that he would be able to comment after the conclusion of the talks. He said that the Peer of Golra Sharif at a press conference held on Tuesday evening ‘endorsed’ the TLYR’s stance.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Religious Affairs Director General Noor Islam Shah and the joint secretary of the ministry met with Peer Haseen Uddin Shah at Madrassah Jamia Rizvia Ziaul Aloom in Rawalpindi and apprised him of the demands of the protesters and the talks so far held with the TLYR leadership.

A meeting of religious scholars and government representatives including Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf and Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal through a declaration had said that a committee had been formed under the chairmanship of Peer Haseen Uddin Shah to negotiate with the TLYR leaders.

 Irshad Qureshi, a spokesperson for Madrassah Jamia Rizvia Ziaul Aloom, said that officials of the religious affairs ministry met with the Peer Haseen but denied that a committee had been formed for holding negotiations. “Only consultations have been started but no formal committee has been formed,” he said. He said that Peer Haseen had told the government that he should be given full authority to negotiate with the leaders of protesters and his decision should be binding on the parties — the government and the TLYR leadership. He said that a formal response from the government was awaited.

Meanwhile, Sunni Ittehad Council Chairman Sihabzada Hamid Raza also met with Peer Haseen Shah. A statement issued by Jamia Rizvia Ziaul Aloom said that Raza said that the government should avoid the use of force against the protesters. He said that a grand alliance of religious parties belonging to the Sunni school of thought would emerge as a political party in the future.

In a late night development, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony notified the committee under the convenorship of Peer Haseen Uddin Shah. The other members included Prof Dr Sajid ur Rehman, Pir Ziaul Haq Shah, Moulana Abdul Sattar Saeedi, Syed Habib ul Haq Shah and Peer Ghulam Nizamuddin Shah Jami. The committee has been mandated to negotiate with the representatives of the government and TLYR and submit its proposals for an amicable solution to the issue.