Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan

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Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah SAW Pakistan (abbreviated TLP; Urdu: تحریک لبیک پاکستان‎, "Here-I-Am Prophet Muhammad SAW Movement Pakistan", is a far-right Islamist political party in Pakistan.[4][3] The party was founded by preacher Khadim Hussain Rizvi.[5]

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan

تحریک لبیک پاکستان
AbbreviationTLP
PresidentKhadim Hussain Rizvi
Founded1 August 2015 (4 years ago) (2015-08-01)
IdeologyIslamism
Support of Section 295-C (Blasphemy Law)[1]
Anti-Ahmadi[2]
Political positionFar-right[3]
ReligionSunni Islam (specifically, Barelvi)
Sindh Assembly
3 / 168
National Assembly
0 / 342
Election symbol
Crane (machine)
Website
tlyp.org.pk

The TLP is known for its countrywide street power and massive protests in opposition to any change to Pakistan's blasphemy law. The party came into existence, and subsequently rose to fame, after the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, which the political party states was unjustifiable.

The TLP demands that Sharia law be established as law in Pakistan, through a gradual legal and political process.[6] Most of the party's members belong to the Barelvi school of Islamic thought, the majority in Pakistan.

The TLP was allotted the crane as its election symbol in 2017.[7]

In the 2018 general election, the party won two seats in the Provincial Assembly of Sindh.[8]

HistoryEdit

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan was formed on 1 August 2015 by Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

Khatm e Nabuwat Bill controversyEdit

Main article 2017 Tehreek-e-Labbaik protest

In October 2017, the government of Pakistan controversially changed the language in its 2017 elections bill. The Islamic Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan and its leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi strongly opposed the new language, and demanded the resignation of Pakistan's Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid, who had changed the law.

TLP held a large protest against the controversial amendment, stopping traffic at the Faizabad Interchange at first, which then led to further protests across the country. The party led a three-week sit-in protest that paralyzed the entire country including Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. At least six protesters were killed and 200 were injured when police unsuccessfully tried to disperse the sit-in, the protest had already spread out nationwide.[4]

Minister Zahid Hamid had to finally resign.

Acquittal and release of Asia BibiEdit

Following the acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian who was charged with blasphemy and kept in solitary confinement for eight years until found innocent on 31 October 2018,[9] Tehreek-e-Labbaik party members held protests across Pakistan that included "blocking roads but not damaging the infrastructure".[10][11] Muhammad Afzal Qadri, a TLP co-founder, also called for the death of the three Supreme Court justices involved in hearing Bibi's appeal, stating "The Chief Justice and two others deserve to be killed ... Either their security guards, their drivers, or their chefs should kill them."[12]

On 2 November 2018, the Government of Pakistan under the administration of Imran Khan and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik political party, which encouraged the protests against Asia Bibi, came into an agreement that barred Asia Bibi from leaving the country, in addition to releasing Tehreek-e-Labbaik protesters who were under arrest.[13][14][15][15][16] The deal includes expediting a motion in the court to place Asia Noreen on Pakistan's no fly list, known officially as the Exit Control List (ECL).[14] Due to pressure from Tehreek-e-Labbaik, Pakistani authorities will not release Asia Noreen until the "Supreme Court makes a final review of its verdict" as "Ghulam Mustafa, the lawyer representing a provincial cleric in Punjab who had filed the initial blasphemy charges against Bibi, petitioned the Supreme Court requesting that the judges review her acquittal."[17]

This agreement between the Government of Pakistan and Tehreek-e-Labbaik has led to "allegations [that] the government was capitulating to extremists".[18] Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry responded to these allegations, saying that "We had two options: either to use force, and when you use force people can be killed. That is not something a state should do... We tried negotiations and (in) negotiations you take something and you leave something."[18] Asia Noreen's lawyer Saif-ul-Mulook called the agreement between the Government of Pakistan and the Islamists "painful", stating that "They cannot even implement an order of the country's highest court".[19] Feeling that his life was threatened, Mulook fled to Europe in order "to stay alive as I still have to fight the legal battle for Asia Bibi."[19] British Pakistani Christian Association chairman Wilson Chowdhry stated that “I am not surprised that Imran Khan's regime has caved in to extremists”.[20] Jemima Goldsmith, an ex-wife of Imran Khan, similarly "said that Pakistan's government caved in to extremist demands to bar Asia Bibi from leaving the country", opining "Not the Naya Pakistan we'd hoped for. 3 days after a defiant & brave speech defending the judiciary, Pakistan's gov caves in to extremist demands to bar #AsiaBibi from leaving Pak, after she was acquitted of blasphemy- effectively signing her death warrant."[21]

On 7 November 2018, Asia Bibi was released from New Jail for Women in Multan, flown to PAF Base Nur Khan, from whence she then departed the country on a charter plane, to the Netherlands.[22] Hafiz Shahbaz Attari of the Islamist political party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), upon hearing the news, said that TLP members would gather in Islamabad and Rawalpindi to try and prevent the departure of Asia Bibi to the Netherlands.[22]

Party leaders' arrestEdit

On 23 November 2018, after approval of Federal Cabinet, provincial police carried out an operation and arrested the Chief of TLP along with some 50 members of his party to defunct the TLP's call for a public rally in Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh planned for November 25, 2018, following which protests spread out and situation deteriorated. Pakistan's Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting confirms the arrest as a protective custody.[23][24]Along with media blackout, TLP faced social media and websites (such as tlyp.org, jointlp.com and allamakhadimhussainrizvi.com) shut down also by government during this crack down[25].

ControversiesEdit

Extrajudicial killingsEdit

The TLP has been linked officially and unofficially to a number of murders, often of Pakistan's academia. In March of 2019, a third year student at Bahawalpur's Government Sadiq Egerton College, Khateeb Hussain, stabbed associate professor Khalid Hameed in a fatal encounter. [26] Khateeb Hussain was in contact with Zafar Gillani, a lawyer and senior member of the TLP prior to the murder, and obtained approval for the act over Whatsapp. The supposed motive for the killing was blasphemous and insulting rhetoric towards Islam, however, no proof was provided for this allegation. [27] TLP never backed this act denouncing it as an individual act and cut off ties with the ex ticket holder. [28]

In 2018, Sareer Ahmed, the principal of Islamia College in Charsadda, was murdered by a 17-year old student who he had reprimanded for missing a number of classes. According to reports circulating on media channels, the student accused the professor of engaging in "blasphemy" for reprimanding him for skipping class to attend rallies held by the TLP. [29] However, this story could never be verified. [30]

Both students stated that they were inspired by Rizvi. [31] However, all such stories are apocryphal since TLP never backed extrajudicial killings and called for a impartial probe into such conspiracies against it. [32]

Political influenceEdit

TLP has notably held protests against actions by the government deemed unjust and against the teachings of Islam.

In 2018, world renowned Princeton economist, Atif Mian was initially chosen as a member of an Economic Advisory Council formed by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to provide assistance on issues of economics and finance.[33] Since his appointment, the government faced criticism from groups opposed to government representation for religious minorities, prominently by the TLP under the guidance of Rizvi. [34] because of Atif's Ahmadiyya faith.[35] He was removed from the Economic Advisory Council on 7 September 2018[36] and afterwards council members Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Imran Rasul resigned in protest.[37][38][39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Tehreek-e-Labbaik: New far right campaigns against 'blasphemy'". www.aljazeera.com.
  2. ^ Dawn.com (4 September 2018). "'We will not bow to extremists': Govt hits back after vicious campaign targets Atif Mian".
  3. ^ a b Yousaf, Farooq (27 December 2017). "Democracy between military might and the ultra-right in Pakistan". East Asia Forum. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b Abbas, Nosheen; Rasmussen, Sune Engel (27 November 2017). "Pakistani law minister quits after weeks of anti-blasphemy protests". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Tehreek Labik to hold Islamabad long march". nation.com.pk. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Tehreek E Labaik Pakistan". labbaik.pk. Archived from the original on 2017-11-10. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  7. ^ Khan, Iftikhar A. (1 October 2017). "Election symbol allotted to Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan".
  8. ^ "TLP secures two seats in Karachi". The Nation. 2018-07-26. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  9. ^ Asif Aqeel (31 October 2018). "Pakistan Frees Asia Bibi from Blasphemy Death Sentence". Christianity Today. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  10. ^ Asad Hashim (1 November 2018). "Pakistan: Thousands protest blasphemy acquittal, ignore PM's call". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Asia Bibi′s blasphemy verdict: Islamists protest across Pakistan". Deutsche Welle. 31 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  12. ^ Omer Farooq Khan (1 November 2018). "Pakistani Islamists are on the boil over acquittal of Asia Bibi". Times of India. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Asia Bibi Barred From Leaving Pakistan as Imran Khan Govt Strikes Deal With Islamist Protesters". News 18. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Christian woman cleared of blasphemy barred from leaving Pakistan". The Telegraph. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Govt & Tehreek-e-Labbaik reach agreement to end protests". Radio Pakistan. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Pakistan Makes Concessions to Protesters in Blasphemy Case". The New York Times. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Pakistan delays release of Christian woman after blasphemy acquittal". CBN News. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Asia Bibi: Deal to end Pakistan protests over blasphemy case". BBC. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Asia Bibi: Lawyer flees Pakistan in fear of his life". BBC. 3 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  20. ^ Peter Stubley (3 November 2018). "Asia Bibi: Pakistan government stops Christian woman leaving country after 'caving in' to hardline Islamists". The Independent. Retrieved 2 November 2018. Under the terms of the deal made on Friday night, prime minister Imran Khan’s administration said it would begin legal proceedings to place Asia Bibi on the “exit control list” (ECL). ... “I am not surprised that Imran Khan’s regime has caved in to extremists,” said Wilson Chowdhry, chair of the British Pakistani Christian Association.
  21. ^ "Jemima says Pakistan's govt caves in to extremist demands to bar Asia Bibi from leaving". The International News. 4 November 2018. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  22. ^ a b "Asia Bibi released from jail, to be shifted to the Netherlands". Outlook. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  23. ^ "TLP Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi taken into 'protective custody', information minister announces". Reporters - Dawn (newspaper). 23 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  24. ^ Mian Abrar (23 November 2018). "Khadim Rizvi among other TLP leaders arrested". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  25. ^ Dawn.com (2018-11-04). "Khadim Hussain Rizvi's Twitter account suspended". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  26. ^ https://www.dawn.com/news/1470814
  27. ^ https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/28-Mar-2019/tlp-leader-arrested-for-forcing-student-to-murder-professor-in-bahawalpur
  28. ^ https://tlyp.org.pk/news/index.php/0302202091/
  29. ^ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pakistan-blasphemy/pakistani-principal-shot-dead-by-student-over-blasphemy-dispute-idUSKBN1FB2PG
  30. ^ https://www.dawn.com/news/1384652
  31. ^ https://www.dawn.com/news/1472131
  32. ^ https://tlyp.org.pk/news/index.php/0302202091/
  33. ^ Cite error: The named reference ref1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  34. ^ "Atif R. Mian's appointment: Moment of truth for Imran Khan". The News. 5 September 2018.
  35. ^ "'We will not bow to extremists': Govt hits back after vicious campaign targets Atif Mian". Dawn. 4 September 2018.
  36. ^ Chaudhry, Dawn.com (7 September 2018). "Under pressure govt backtracks on Atif Mian's appointment; removes economist from advisory council". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  37. ^ "EAC loses one more Ivy League professor after Atif Mian". The News. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  38. ^ "Asim Ijaz Khawaja, leading international economist quits Pakistan EAC as protest". Times of Islamabad. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  39. ^ "Imran Rasul resigns from EAC in solidarity with Atif Mian". The Express Tribune. 8 September 2018.