TLP chief Rizvi, Qadri may soon be released: reports


— TLP will be allowed to ‘protest peacefully’

LAHORE: It has been reported that Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leaders Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Pir Afzal Qadri will soon be released as they’ve reached a settlement with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.

It is pertinent to mention that the government had taken the TLP chief and others into “protective custody” on November 23 from Lahore. However, later, they were handed over to police for investigation. Later, they were sent on judicial remand.

It is being reported that the government is considering releasing the TLP leaders after being assured that they will take well to the Supreme Court’s recent verdict when it decided to uphold Aasia Bibi’s acquittal by dismissing a petition seeking review of its October 31, 2018 decision. However, the cases against them will stand until a court orders otherwise.

They will, however, be allowed to exercise the democratic right of peaceful protest. But they will not be allowed to issue any fatwas or statements branding people ‘Wajibul Qatal’ or ‘Kafir’ over religious differences.

Rizvi, Qadri as well as Allama Farooqul Hassan and Allama Aijaz Ashrafi are facing charges of fueling the protests, inciting followers to damage property and making hate speeches targeting state institutions.

Protests had erupted in several cities after the Supreme Court acquitted Aasia Bibi, a Christian woman who had been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges, on October 31.

Enraged masses had blocked several routes across the country for two days, while at some places they had also set fire to vehicles. The demonstrations saw the closure of schools, colleges and universities, as well as cancellation of examinations.