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Saad Hussain Rizvi will be prosecuted in terrorism case: minister

Sheikh Rasheed says ban on party not being reversed

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 21, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
Posted: Apr 21, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

"The FIRs against Saad Hussain Rizvi and 209 other Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan supporters will go through court," Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said.

In a press conference on Wednesday, he said that TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi's case includes sections 78A (Acts done pursuant to the judgment or order of Court) and 302 (Punishment for murder).

Rasheed said that the ban on the party is not being reversed. The members can send an appeal against it to the Interior Ministry within 30 days. "If this happens, a committee will be formed to decide over the case."

Around 1:45pm, 669 TLP supporters arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order were released from jail. Most of them were from South Punjab and Faisalabad.

According to Rasheed, the agreement signed between the ministry and the religious party includes that decisions pertaining to all international matters will be taken by the government and no religious or political party will be allowed to pressurise them.

The minister said that a martyr package will be given to the police officers killed during the TLP protests. C1 and C2 certificates and Rs4 billion will be distributed to the officers injured during the sit-ins and protests.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan will himself take Western countries into confidence and prepare a strategy of common interests for Muslims across the world."

The government has decided that western countries will be sensitized to the issue of blasphemy, and Islamic countries urged to take a stance against blasphemous content.

The interior ministry is planning to bring a policy against hate speech, terrorism, and religious extremism to prevent any such breach in the law and order situation, Rasheed concluded.

TLP workers called off their sit-in outside Lahore's Rehmatul Lil Alameen mosque Tuesday night after over a week.

The TLP and government negotiations began after protracted protests from the political party and its supporters across Pakistan starting last week. The protests began over the publication of blasphemous caricatures in a French magazine. The TLP had been agitating from November and had been in talks with the government. However, when its chief Saad Rizvi planned to march on Islamabad, he was taken into custody. Protests broke out after that, especially in Lahore and Karachi.

Parliament to debate expulsion of French ambassador

The National Assembly of Pakistan adopted on Tuesday a resolution condemning blasphemous caricatures in a French magazine, hours after the outlawed Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and government reached an agreement.

The resolution condemned the publication of sacrilegious caricatures by Charlie Hebdo on Sept 1, 2020. Despite the severe reaction from the Muslim world when the magazine first published such caricatures in 2015, it again tried to hurt the sentiments of Muslims, it said.

The resolution demands:

  1. The expulsion of the French ambassador be debated in parliament
  2. All European countries, especially France, be conveyed the seriousness of the matter
  3. All Muslim countries be consulted and the issue be jointly presented before the international community

In the end, it said that matters concerning international relations were the prerogative of the state, and no person, group, or party could exert pressure illegally when it came to this.

The resolution said that provincial governments should set aside public space for protests so that there are no disruptions caused to daily life.

Pakistan bans TLP

On Thursday, the government formally proscribed the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan

The government has reasonable grounds to believe that the TLP “engaged in terrorism, acted in a manner prejudicial to the peace and security of the country”, a notification issued by the Interior Ministry stated.

The religious group “intimidated the public, caused grievous bodily harm, hurt and death to the personnel of law enforcement agencies and innocent bystanders”, it added.

Read: Pakistan has banned TLP. What will happen next?

The party has been proscribed under section 11B (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. It empowers the government to ban an organization involved in terrorism.

The ban will be placed under Section 11-B of the Ant-Terrorism Act, 1997, which gives the government powers to ban an organization involved or participating in terrorism. 

Supporters of the religious party took to the streets earlier this week after their chief Saad Hussain Rizvi was arrested.


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