Asia Bibi case: Opportunist Khadim Rizvi threatens judiciary, NGOs and the lawyer

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Once again the religiopolitical party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on Friday blocked the Mall Road at Faisal Chowk to protest against the possible release of Asia Bibi by the Supreme Court (SC) after the decision on Asia’s appeal against death sentence was reserved by a bench of the top court earlier this week.

Recently, the apex court heard the case and reserved its decision. According to details, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, and a death-row prisoner were convicted of blasphemy in Nov 2010. Media reports suggest that in June 2009, Asia was involved in an argument with a group of women.

The then law minister Zahid Hamid had to resign after the assurance that no Fatwa would be issued against him.

Subsequently, she was accused of blasphemy (she allegedly insulted Islam and used derogatory words against the scared personalities). In 2010, a lower court after listening to the arguments from both sides and looking into the available evidence awarded her the capital punishment.

In 2014, the Lahore High Court (LHC) upheld her death sentence despite criticism from some segments of civil society and international media. However, the apex court had issued a stay order on her execution in July 2015. The stay order was issued by the top court since the case had become controversial and complex which demanded more deliberation to be concluded.

Read more: Pakistan Christian in last appeal on blasphemy death sentence

According to the media reports, the TLP chief Khadim Rizvi warned the judges, government, and local as well as international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) of “dire” consequences if Asia was set free. He also threatened Saiful Malook, the lawyer representing Asia Bibi in court. “We will hold massive protests and not let the government function if it releases Asia to appease the United States (US),” said Rizvi.

Khadim Rizvi, an Opportunist

The TLP organized a sit-in in Faizabad to protest against the government’s alleged involvement in modifying Khatm-e-Nabuwat [finality of Prophet-hood] clause in the Elections Bill 2017. The then law minister Zahid Hamid had to resign after the assurance that no Fatwa would be issued against him.

Rizvi has been also listed as being “arrogant” with his superiors, “harsh” with his subordinates, and “committed” to his cause.

The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) submitted a report to the SC during the days of sit in. Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa were hearing the Suo Motu notice of the disturbance to public life due to the sit-in at Faizabad. In the report, the ISI told the SC that the sit-in was politically motivated and had political interests.

“The Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah is determined to exploit the situation and gain political mileage to gain support for the next general elections,” said a six-page order issued by a two-judge bench consisting of Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

Read more: Khadim Rizvi brings life in Lahore to a halt

“To keep the participants of the sit-in engaged and charged, the leadership of the protesters resorted to delivering provocative speeches,” the ISI report read.

Rizvi is “Reportedly Corrupt”: Reports ISI

The ISI submitted a comprehensive report to the SC and declared Khadim Rizvi as “reportedly corrupt”. Rizvi has been also listed as being “arrogant” with his superiors, “harsh” with his subordinates, and “committed” to his cause. It has also been stated that Rizvi is “reportedly corrupt” particularly when it comes to financial matters.

Read more: Faizabad Dharna: A view of both sides

Moreover, it is also a fact, point out the report that he appears to be living within his means. The report further notes that he has shown an inclination towards misuse of power, the authorities, and resources. It is yet to be seen that how the court and the present government deal with him.

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