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TLP Chief Urges Supporters to Help Party Win Next Elections

by Newsweek Pakistan

Maulana Saad Rizvi. Image courtesy YouTube

Concluding urs of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, Saad Rizvi says party has defeated ‘oppressive’ government

Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Saad Rizvi on Sunday urged his party’s supporters to come out in force in the next general elections and vote for the previously proscribed group.

Addressing the concluding ceremony of a three-day urs in Lahore for his father and TLP founder, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, he said there were still people who did not realize who had won the “battle” between the group and the government. “Our mothers, dead and injured, have won the ground because they didn’t step back while sacrificing their lives and property,” he said, adding that the TLP’s workers had shown the world they would never back down from their demands against an “oppressing” government, and their mothers had not given birth to “cowards.”

Claiming that the TLP had fought for the respect and dignity of Islam’s Prophet, he maintained that the nation trusted the group to protect the finality of Prophethood. “Now, I demand from the nation that their ballot boxes should not remain empty during the next elections,” he said, exhorting all present to ensure they voted in larger numbers for the TLP.

Thanking former Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Munibur Rehman for facilitating the TLP’s agreement with the government, he stressed that the group’s struggle was not yet over. “People who don’t have an ideology are useless and it would be like saying a nuclear bomb possessed by a weak nation would be of no use,” he said, adding that if the party was challenged by anyone, it was ready to take to the streets again.

Rizvi was released from prison a day ahead of the urs—which commenced on Friday—as part of a deal with the government. The deal, which remains shrouded in secrecy, saw the TLP call off its long march on Islamabad. In exchange, the government has thousands of the group’s detained workers, ended cases against them, removed its leaders from the Fourth Schedule, and withdrawn an order declaring it a “proscribed” organization. In recent days, several members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf have also hinted at entering a political alliance with the group.

The TLP’s latest protest, which commenced mid-October and concluded on Oct. 31, saw the party’s workers assaulting police, with at least seven policemen dead and hundreds more injured in the clashes. According to the TLP, dozens of its workers were likewise killed by police, but this has not yet been independently verified.

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