TLP calls off countrywide protest sit-ins

Published: November 2, 2018
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Khadim Hussain Rizvi. PHOTO: REUTERS

Khadim Hussain Rizvi. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) called of its countrywide protest sit-ins late Friday night following reaching of an agreement with the federal and Punjab governments.

On October 30, nationwide protests erupted against the acquittal of blasphemy accused Aasia Masih, aka Aasia Bibi, by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

“I am thankful to all Muslims who have played their part to ensure respect for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” said TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi while urging his followers to disperse peacefully.

“You have made an example and lesson for our generations to come about what it means to respect the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” he added

The five-point agreement says that a review petition against the Supreme Court judgment has already been filed which is a constitutional right of the complainants – and the government would have no objection to it.

According to the deal, the government would take steps to immediately place the name of Aasia Bibi on the Exit Control List (ECL) till the adjudication of the review petition.

The agreement also reads that legal action would be taken if any TLP worker was killed during the dharna against the acquittal of Aasia Masih.

Similarly, the government has agreed to release all protesters taken into custody on October 30 and afterwards.

The Tehree-e-Labbaik Pakistan, on its part, has apologised for inconvenience or trouble caused to anyone during the protest sit-in.

The agreement bears the signatures of Religious Affairs Minister Sahibzada Dr Noorul Haq Qadri, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri, patron-in-chief TLP, and Muhammad Waheed Noor, central Nazim-e-Aala TLP.

The TLP took to the street after the acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court on October 30, paralysing the major cities of the country. In his immediate reaction, Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned the protesters not to incite people to violence or else the state would perform its duty to protect the life and property of its citizens.

The TLP protesters stayed put disregarding the warning and staged new protests after Friday prayers, bringing the life to a standstill.

Country at a standstill as protests continue

All private and public educational institutions remained closed in major cities, while attendance in government offices and commercial enterprises was also thin.

Cellular services were suspended in four major cities. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had tweeted that “mobile services in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Gujranwala will be blocked from 8am till Maghrib”. However, cellular services were restored at 6pm.

Hospitals also suffered from staff shortages. Many neighbourhoods in Karachi remained without water as protesters had stopped water tankers at different locations.

On Wednesday, the apex court acquitted Aasia Bibi – a Christian woman accused of blasphemy in 2010 and sentenced to death – and set aside an earlier judgment passed by the Lahore High Court.

The 51-year-old woman had been on the death row since November 2010 after she was convicted of committing blasphemy during an argument with two Muslim women at a village in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • zard
    Nov 2, 2018 - 9:54PM

    Negotiating with criminals who terrorise, burn, and disrupt society is different than allowing peaceful protest. It’s a systemic problem in Pakistan. This just insures that the next time the govt does something they don’t approve they feel free to assassinate, disrupt, and otherwise ruin the reputation of our country. So much for the “new Pakistan”. More importantly – what was this “agreement” reached with criminal/terrorist?Recommend

  • Nadir Sadiq
    Nov 2, 2018 - 10:08PM

    Today PTI is not different than PML-N, they gave in to terrorists. So much for following the Riasu of Madinah. Imran Khan should slop making tall claims, if he can not defend one innocent non muslim. I am disgusted today, there are now words that can represent my feelings.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Nov 2, 2018 - 10:21PM

    So let me get this straight if i think this TLP mullah is abusing islam and burn down his house all i have to do is apologise

    Pathetic

    Thanks ZA Bhitto and Gen Zia for imposing these savages on us Recommend

  • Istiaque
    Nov 2, 2018 - 10:26PM

    It shows how muddy mentality many of the people possess. A humble woman had a quarrel decades ago and still people are shouting. God bless ..otherwise Pakistan would fall in deep ditchRecommend

  • Ahmer Ali
    Nov 2, 2018 - 10:32PM

    Who will pay the loss of damaged and burnt vehicles to the owners by the TLP’s protesters?Is this defined and mentioned in the agreement between the government and protesters and any legal action will be taken against the that protesters who burnt and damaged the other people’s vehicles?Recommend

  • iftikhar Ali
    Nov 2, 2018 - 11:04PM

    Did TLP anarchists say they will not burn property after the review petition verdict and will not attempt to hurt Asi Bibi or her family?Recommend

  • Mateen Saeed
    Nov 3, 2018 - 12:34AM

    Eventually Govt. bowed down, ultimately winners are fire-brand, blood-thirsty creatures, Recommend

  • Farooq Khan
    Nov 3, 2018 - 12:47AM

    Karachi liberated from the iron hands of ALTAF Hussain, but whole of Pakistan lost to mindless religious miscreants.Recommend

  • Hasan Sultan
    Nov 3, 2018 - 1:24AM

    Who is responsible for all the damage done and the hatred that has been involved in the hearts of the masses against the judiciary, army and the government??? This culprit and all his stooges should be hanged publicly.Recommend

  • Basharat
    Nov 3, 2018 - 2:13AM

    Do not blame Prime Minister Imran Khan. He inherited these ‘blooming and flourishing’ state of affairs. He is trying to rescue this nation from atrocities committed and left by others. He is only human, without a magic wand. As for the mulla fitna….an iron hand is needed…isn’t it? ??Recommend

  • Abid
    Nov 3, 2018 - 8:02AM

    Very good decision and omen.Recommend

  • Shahmir Gill
    Nov 3, 2018 - 11:39AM

    Causing nationwide chaos and later apologizing for it over a negotiation is not the proper solution to the problem.In what way do the negotiations and apologies make up for the damage caused to the state?Recommend

  • Asif Mufti
    Nov 3, 2018 - 1:48PM

    He probably paid Rs 500 each to these protesters. Why don’t Govt pay Rs 600 each to the same protesters to go home and dispose of these lunatic mullahs? Cheaper and permanent solution.
    Arrest all those who are willing to provide food for protesters involved in the sit-in. They will disappear after few days.
    I saw last Mellah at Faizabad Chowk and talked to these protesters they were having time of their life free meal three times a day and Rs 500 in their pocket.Recommend

  • hassan khawri
    Nov 4, 2018 - 3:40AM

    Instead of making deal with this Tehreek, govt should book all the leading leader of this Tehreek and put them behind bar and let SC decide their destiny.Recommend

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