Pakistan police arrests TLP chief, over 100 party members for calling for protests against Asia Bibi's acquittal

Last month, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) disrupted daily life across Pakistan by staging widespread protests following Bibi's acquittal in a blasphemy case by the apex court.

Press Trust of India November 24, 2018 15:44:37 IST
Pakistan police arrests TLP chief, over 100 party members for calling for protests against Asia Bibi's acquittal

Lahore: Pakistani police have arrested over 100 members of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, including the radical Islamist party's chief who had called for a protest on Sunday against the acquittal of Christian woman Asia Bibi.

Pakistan police arrests TLP chief over 100 party members for calling for protests against Asia Bibis acquittal

Representational image. Reuters

Last month, Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) disrupted daily life across Pakistan by staging widespread protests following Bibi's acquittal in a blasphemy case by the apex court.

"We have taken into custody more than 100 TLP leaders and activists including its chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi from Lahore and other parts of the Punjab province," a senior police officer told PTI on Saturday.

He said a team comprising government officials and clerics tried to persuade Rizvi in Lahore late on Friday night to defer its 25 November protest, but he refused to budge. "On this, police arrested him and other leaders," the officer said.

"Khadim Hussain Rizvi has been taken into protective custody by police from Lahore. The action was prompted by TLP's refusal to withdraw its call for protest on 25 November. It is to safeguard public life, property and order," Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.

The minister, however, clarified that the "arrest has nothing to do with Asia Bibi case".

"The TLP has become a continuous threat to the life and properties of the citizens and is doing politics under the guise of religion... the situation is fully under control, people should remain peaceful and fully cooperate with authorities," Chaudhry said.

He said the government did its best to convince the party against staging the protest, but they refused every offer and started to incite violence.

There were reports of TLP workers clashing with police in Lahore following Rizvi's arrest. Three policemen and seven workers are reported to have been injured.

The apex court, in a three-member bench led by chief justice Saqib Nisar, issued the landmark verdict last month.  Following the verdict, the TLP had termed the chief justice and other judges in the bench "liable to be killed" and had called Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa a non-Muslim and urged Muslim generals to revolt against him.

Bibi was convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting Islam in a row with her neighbours. She always maintained her innocence, but spent most of the past eight years in solitary confinement.

She has been released from the jail and the government says is in a 'safe' house. The government says she cannot leave the country until a decision is made on the review petition against her acquittal. Chief Justice Nisar has ordered full protection to Bibi.

TLP is an Islamist political party with Islamic ideology. It is known for widespread street power and massive protests in opposition to any change to Pakistan's blasphemy law.

Updated Date:

also read

Black Caps coach Glenn Pocknall says team is now used to the heavy security in Pakistan
First Cricket News

Black Caps coach Glenn Pocknall says team is now used to the heavy security in Pakistan

International cricket in Pakistan was suspended in the aftermath of terror attacks on the Sri Lankan side in 2009, but has been slowly revived over the past two years.

Pakistan vs New Zealand: Black Caps arrive for white-ball tour in first visit to country in 18 years
First Cricket News

Pakistan vs New Zealand: Black Caps arrive for white-ball tour in first visit to country in 18 years

New Zealand, who last toured Pakistan in 2003 for five one-day internationals, will play three ODIs in Rawalpindi and five T20Is in Lahore.

Taliban expresses interest in CPEC: Should India be worried, why China is reaching out and what Pakistan said
India

Taliban expresses interest in CPEC: Should India be worried, why China is reaching out and what Pakistan said

CPEC is a part of China's most ambitious project 'Belt and Road Initiative', aimed at renewing the country's historic trade routes in the coastal countries of South-East Asia