News Analysis |
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a religious political party, has once again disrupted the peace in urban centers of Pakistan. After the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted Ms. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of committing blasphemy, supporters of the TLP took to the street and main roads in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi and sealed off the cities.
The leaders of the TLP and other religious parties reportedly demanded the resignation of the Judges who were part of a three-member bench, the Prime Minister and suspension of the verdict of the top court. Initially, the government did not pay any attention to the protesters across the country. But on the eve of Wednesday Prime Minister spoke to the nation and urged people not to become a part of those threatening the writ of the state.
The report further noted that he has shown an inclination towards misuse of power, the authorities, and resources.
PM Khan also made it clear that it was the responsibility of the state to protect the life, property, and liberty of people and if anyone tries to disrupt the order, the state will be in action. Electronic media also did not give any coverage to the protestors who were not only using abusive language but also threatening the high officials in the country. PM Khan expressed his deepest grief over the use of abusive language by the religious leaders.
PM Khan’s speech was said to be a new begging of the country previously dominated by religious extremists. The TLP almost a year ago compelled the sitting government to remove one minister and fulfill all the demands tabled by them. There are some examples in 1950s and 1970s where religious parties exploited the mainstream political elites in the name of religion.
Military dictator Zia ul Haq is mainly accused of meddling religion into politics to maintain his position as the most powerful man in the country. PM Khan made it clear before the forces of extremism that the state will not compromise on law of the land. According to analysts, it was a clear, loud, and precise message to everyone in Pakistan.
PM Khan expressed his deepest grief over the use of abusive language by the religious leaders.
Political Birth of TLP
TLP came into existence after hanging of Mumtaz Qadri and subsequently rose to fame using religion hardline barelvi school of thought. The party contested the General Election in 2018 and won three seats in provincial assembly of Sindh, though it does not have any representation in the National assembly.
The TLP organized a sit-in in Faizabad, Islamabad for 20 days in November 2017, 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.
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.
Military dictator Zia ul Haq is mainly accused of meddling religion into politics to maintain his position as the most powerful man in the country.
“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. “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 was also stated that Rizvi is “reportedly corrupt” particularly when it comes to financial matters. The report further noted that he has shown an inclination towards misuse of power, the authorities, and resources.
Mr. Rizvi is a firebrand speaker who is exploiting every opportunity to seek political support in the name of religion. However, now the state of Pakistan has taken a firm stand and it is likely that people like Mr. Rizvi will no longer hijack the entire country for their vested political interests.
His protest strategy revolves largely around using mass protests as a means to showcase the strength of the TLP as well as blackmail. However, now the state of Pakistan has taken a firm stand and it is likely that people like Mr. Rizvi will no longer hijack the entire country for their vested political interests.