News Analysis |
The Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has announced to hold a protest in Karachi on August 12 against the alleged rigging in the General Elections 2018. The leader of the right-wing religious-political party Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi had said that his party would stage protest across the country if “their due mandate is not given to them.”
The TLP could not manage to win even a single National Assembly seat in the General Elections. The party, however, managed to win two provincial assembly seats. The TLP remained more visible in electoral politics in Karachi where most of the TLP candidates bagged the considerable number of votes.
Imran Khan has been advised by experts and political commentators to deal with Khadim Rizvi and his TLP with great care so that no unwanted political scenario pushes the PTI into troubled waters.
The TLP has not become the part of a grand political opposition in the parliament against the PTI. PML-N, PPP, JUI-F, JI and other parties have agreed to take oath in the assemblies despite rejecting the results of the general elections on the basis of alleged massive rigging. The TLP is working independently and now organizing protests to put pressure on the ECP and caretaker set-up.
Emergence of the TLP
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. This was the time when Maulana Khadim Rizvi and his party came on the scene and got massive coverage by the national as well as international media.
Political Motives behind Khadim Rizvi’s Dharna
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.
This was the time when Maulana Khadim Rizvi and his party came on the scene and got massive coverage by the national as well as international media.
“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. Maulana Rizvi used abusive language against many politicians and the state institutions in his speeches. He, however, remained popular among his supporters across the country.
Challenges for Imran Khan Prime Minister-in-waiting
Khadim Hussain Rizvi is becoming increasingly popular amongst conservative-minded youth across Pakistan. He has demonstrated his street power twice. Firstly, he managed to bring people on roads when the authorities started arresting his supporters during Faizabad protest. Secondly, when the government was not willing to implement the clauses agreed during an agreement with the TLP, the supporters of Khadim Rizvi blocked the road in many big cities of the country.
This gave confidence to Khadim Hussain who is now stern to go after those who defeated him through rigging. Imran Khan, the Prime Minister-in-waiting, is scheduled to take oath in this month. Opposition parties have made an alliance to give a tough time to the government of the PTI.
Mr. Khan intends to alter the foundations of Pakistan’s political culture which is a direct attack on the political base of the parties of status-quo e.g. PML-N and PPP. According to analysts, in a situation when there will be a critical political opposition against the government of Imran Khan, it is important for him to address the reservations of Maulana Rizvi adequately.
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The PTI should offer the TLP something agreeable like the recounting of votes if the latter is interested to verify their given mandate. Imran Khan has been advised by experts and political commentators to deal with Khadim Rizvi and his TLP with great care so that no unwanted political scenario pushes the PTI into troubled waters.