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Tehreek-e-Labaik starts ‘jail bharo’ movement for acceptance of demands

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Chief of Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) Ashraf Asif Jalali has announced on Monday his party will start a ‘jail bharo’ (fill jails) movement from 27th January because the government has failed to fulfill their demands. He said while talking on a press conference yesterday. TLYRA had earlier demanded the resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, releasing Raja Zafarul Haq’s report to the public and compensation for those killed in Tehreek-e-Khatam-e-Nabuwat.

The strategy devised by the TLYRA chief is that 100 workers of the party would court their arrest in front of the Punjab Assembly on 27th January; it will be followed by 100 workers courting their arrest the next day and it will go on until all jails in Punjab are filled. Jalali complained that they have been reminding the government from time to time about their demands; they have even extended the deadline twice but the government didn’t pay any heed to their warnings.

The internal rifts between the party leaders can be used by the Punjab government for its advantage as it would be easier to control the divided workers rather than facing the rage of the united party.

The chief said that they have finally decided to take a practical step against the government because they were left with no other choice. TYLRA is demanding the resignation of Rana Sanaullah for his allegedly Pro-Ahmadi community comments. The Raja Zafarul Haq report is about the change in the Khatam-i-Nabuwat clause of the oath statement, TYLRA wants to know who was responsible for changing it. Jalali claims that the situation has only gotten worse since their last sit-in.

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He also talked about the Zainab rape and murder case and demanded justice for her. Jalali vowed to force the government to meet its demands because all the evidence was present against Rana Sanaullah yet it has failed to take any action. The situation is looking very grim for the Punjab government because Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri is also holding a protest on 17th January, which might lead to a stage-in.

here have been leadership issues in the party in the past with both leaders claiming to be the chief of the party. Since this movement was started from Jalali, we can expect that Rizvi’s faction won’t become a part of it which would greatly reduce its impetus.

The demands of Dr. Qadri coincide with the demands of TYLRA; both want the resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah but Dr. Qadri also wants the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Punjab government is surrounded from both fronts but if the demands of the PAT chief are accepted, TYLRA might not even have to start their ‘jail bharo’ movement. The fate of the Law Minister Rana Sanaullah hangs from a thin thread.

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TYLRA has proved to be very persistent and obstinate with their demands. They staged a three week long sit-in last year and forced the Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid to resign, their resolve didn’t falter even when the government used force to remove them. We can expect them to show the same persistence and resilience in the ‘jail bharo’ movement.

The situation is looking very grim for the Punjab government because PAT chief Dr. Tahirul Qadri is also holding a protest on 17th January, which might lead to a stage-in.

In case the government refuses to accept their arrest, the situation might take a turn for the worst and the law and order situation in the whole of Punjab might deteriorate. It is interesting to note that this protest was started by Ashraf Asif Jalali and not by the popular firebrand orator of TYLRA Khadim Hussain Rizvi. There have been leadership issues in the party in the past with both leaders claiming to be the chief of the party.

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Since this movement was started from Jalali, we can expect that Rizvi’s faction won’t become a part of it which would greatly reduce its impetus. The internal rifts between the party leaders can be used by the Punjab government for its advantage as it would be easier to control the divided workers rather than facing the rage of the united party.


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