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Thursday, July 18, 2024

TLP’s existence under threat: Sedition case against Khadim Rizvi & Afzal Qadri

News Analysis|

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday has revealed that sedition cases against Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Pir Afzal Qadri have been registered in the respective police stations.

He said this while addressing a press conference. The minister made it clear to everybody that those violating law of Pakistan would be dealt with sternly. He said other TLP leaders have also been charged under the same section.

Those who destroyed public and private properties during the event are also being proceeded against. They shall be charged under terrorism clauses in the respective police stations. The cases of these people shall be tried in the anti-terrorism courts.

Read More: Crackdown on TLP continues: Is the end near?

While replying a query about encroachments, he made it clear that the operation against illegal settlements shall continue without any fear or favor. So far Rs 350 billion land has been got vacated from the land grabbers in Islamabad alone, he told.

About the surge in dollar rate, the information said the finance minister has already given a comprehensive statement adding govt will make sure that the economy of the country improves in the coming days.

He praised the role of opposition parties and media against government tackling of Tehreek-e-Labbak dharna adding the situation was effectively controlled and sorted out because all stakeholders were on the same page.

The sedition cases against the TLP high leadership shows that the party faces an existential threat. Already the Election Commission has been active against the TLP. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday ordered the district election commissioner of Lahore to personally deliver a second notice to Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the chief of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), in a case regarding his party’s registration and funding.

Read More: TLP & Islamic principles: Some major contradictions – Khawaja Akbar

Also, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on Thursday urged the government to enhance punishments for those misusing their authority to issue religious edicts (fatwas). According to media reports, the CII meeting was chaired by its chief Dr. Qibla Ayaz, and senior scholars of all four mainstream schools of thought in the country.

All the participants reportedly acknowledged the Paigham-e-Pakistan, a comprehensive document that was prepared by the council earlier this year to counter extremism in Pakistan. It is important to mention here that the narrative, titled ‘Paigham-e-Pakistan’ consists of 22-point Fatwa (religious decree), declares armed struggle against the Country, its government or armed forces illegal.

It also maintains that if someone, except the government, takes arms to enforce Islamic values in the society it will amount to Fasaad-fil-Arz; and therefore not permissible. The 121-page document also declares suicide attacks un-Islamic and a grave sin.

The ruling of the CII is a massive blow for the TLP as it castes the operating method of the TLP into question. Once thought nigh invincible, the TLP was notorious for using violent protests as a means to force its will on the ruling party. The latest example was the series of protests by a religious party after the acquittal of Ms. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy. The Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her for not having enough evidence to convict her.

Violence across the country halted the life and compelled the government to sign an agreement with the leaders of the protesters. Later on, the government decided to put an end to the policy of blackmailing by the religious groups. Dr. Shireen Mazari, Minister for Human Rights, categorically stated that the policy of appeasement to avoid bloodshed would send a dangerous message to the non-state actors.

All in all, it seems this is the end of the line for the TLP. Perhaps its estimation that its brand of violent religious politics would be tolerated in Naya Pakistan has backfired and now it is paying the ultimate price.