News Analysis |
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi has yet again asked his followers to come on streets and block roads across the country. Khadim Rizvi who is protesting in front of Data Darbar Lahore has also asked advised his followers not to go back unless he himself asks them to do so.
Rizvi and top leadership of the TLP have been protesting in Lahore for almost last week. TLP wants the government to fully implement the Faizabad Agreement.
Right after Rizvi’s call his followers came on streets in Lahore and have blocked key traffic intersections in Lahore, including the busy Thokar Niaz Beg.
Furthermore, Pir Afzal Qadri, chairperson of the TLP, told party workers after the 4pm deadline lapsed yesterday that they must “come out on the streets and not go back until Rizvi announces an end to the protest”.
“If the 11-point Faizabad agreement, which includes provisions like the release of arrested workers and withdrawal of cases against them, is not implemented, the entire country will be on the roads next Friday,” Qadri further asserted.
TLP followers came out in Sahiwal and created blockages on the Lahore-Multan motorway at Chichawatni bypass and near View Hotel at Lahore-Sahiwal bypass; they vowed to not end their sit-in until orders come from Lahore.
Temporary demonstrations and sit-ins were also reported in Mian Channu city in Khanewal district as well as in Kabirwala on the National Highway.
Demands of Khadim Rizvi:
The protestors are demanding the implementation of Faizabad agreement. It is pertinent to mention here that Khadim Rizvi and his followers staged a Dharana against the government over the alleged involvement in change to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath via the Elections Act 2017. But after the army played a role of mediator and brought the government and the protesters to negotiation table an agreement was signed later on. Resultantly, the government agreed to accept the demands of the protestors and protestors agreed to end the sit-in.
But Rizvi now alleges that the government is not interested to implement what was agreed in the presence of Pakistan Army.
Moreover, the demands of the protesters included making public the Raja Zafarul Haq report — containing details of the investigation into the clerical error, the release of all arrested protesters, formation of committee to suggest action against those who used force against protesters, and full implementation of an earlier agreement between Punjab government and TLYRA.
Khadim Rizvi dishonest person noted ISI, a Proclaimed Offender declared ATC:
On March 19, 2018 the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has noted that Khadim Rizvi was ‘reportedly dishonest’ and capable of instigating youth. “It is reported that Khadim Rizvi raised over 10 million before starting the march. He encouraged his followers to either accompany the march or contribute R. 300 per person,” read the report. The report also called Rizvi an arrogant and harsh person.
On April 04, 2018 an anti-terrorism court (ATC) declared TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi a proclaimed offender.
The court declared the TLP chief and other leaders including Maulana Inayatullah and Sheikh Azhar, proclaimed offenders when they failed surrender within 30 days appear before the court despite several notices. The court had also issued non-bailable arrest warrants of Moulana Rizvi.
Is TLP creating chaos in the country?
Khadim Rizvi wants the state once again to surrender and fulfill his all demands which also includes a tough stance of the state towards religious minorities. Rizvi wants to exploit the religious card as much as possible before general elections to manage political support across the country. Although his followers arrested during the protest in Faizabad were immediately released and were also given some money to get back to their places yet Rizvi is demanding the government to fulfill his all demands without any excuse.
As a matter of fact, this movement in the name of religion is further dividing Pakistani society and giving opportunities external actors to exploit the situation. Disruption and lockdowns are neither in favor of the sitting government nor something appreciable for the growth of democracy in Pakistan.
The government, however, needs to carefully examine the situation and make every effort to ease Moulana Khadim without the use of force. The use of force as our experience reveals is always counterproductive. But at the same time, the government is also required to ensure the writ of the state.