Pakistan: TLP leader behind blasphemy protests arrested

The authorities in Pakistan have arrested Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of TLP or Tehreek-e-Labbaik party as they had seriously disrupted the nation by staging massive rallies against the release of a Christian woman in a case of blasphemy.

Rizvi was arrested along with his followers from his religious school at night. Fawad Chaudhry, Information Minister of Pakistan later tweeted that Rizvi had been taken in protective custody and has been shifted to a guest house. Chaudhry said, “the action was prompted by TLP’s refusal to withdraw its call for protest on November 25. It’s to safeguard public life, property and order”.

Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that Rizvi has asked his supporters to observe “Martyrs Day” on November 25 and master a huge rally in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The TLP was the leader of the protests against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi, in a case of blasphemy by the SC bench. TLP had instead called for a public execution of Bibi while the founder of the party, Mohammad Afzal Qadri had also asked for the death of the three Supreme Court judges who had ordered her acquittal. Qadri had also asked for overthrowing the government of Pakistan. It was only after the government agreed to review the order of SC, the protests were withdrawn. There are lean chances of the order being overturned.

Pakistan is averse to blasphemy and even slight, unproven gestures against Islam or Prophet can lead to murders and lynchings. 74 people have been killed in Pakistan due to the same issue since 1990.

Bibi’s family has requested for asylum which has been offered by countries like Canada, France and Spain. She has been kept at a secure and undisclosed location. TLP has also pledged to return to streets if Bibi leaves the country.




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