LAHORE: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in the provincial capital on Wednesday granted a 20-day physical remand of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
The 20-day physical remand for other senior leaders of the TLP, including Hafiz Farooqul Hassan, Pir Afzal Qadri and Pir Ijaz Ashrafi were also approved.
A petition over the matter was filed by Civil Lines police which produced the cleric before the court earlier in the day, seeking a 30-day physical remand.
According to officials, a photogrammetric test of the TLP chief was cited as the reason for seeking physical remand. The test is used to determine if the person in question was actually the individual represented in a video or audio clip, the deputy prosecutor informed the court.
In November last year, Rizvi was arrested after the government ordered law enforcement agencies to begin a countrywide crackdown on the far-right religious outfit.
Rizvi was arrested after TLP-led protests paralysed normal life across the country in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Aasia Bibi.
The religious party, founded in 2015, burst onto the scene after the government carried out Mumtaz Qadri’s death sentence in 2016.
In November 2017, TLP followers blocked Islamabad’s main road protesting against the PML-N-led government’s alleged attempt to amend the “finality of Prophethood” constitutional clause.
Agitators clashed with LEAs forcing the army to step in to curb the violence.
After the Faizabad sit-in, the TLP staged a three-day long protest following the acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court. During the protest, the demonstrators termed the chief justice “liable to be killed” and called for a rebellion against the army chief “because he is a non-Muslim”. The protest defused after the PTI government and TLP brokered a deal.
This makes it twice the federation capitulating to Rizvi’s demands, giving him prominence in the religious sphere.
Subsequently, the top court had to take a suo motu of the protests and directed the federal and provincial governments to submit a report in this regard.
Moreover, the TLP also managed to translate its religious rhetoric into votes as it bagged at least 4 per cent of the total votes in the last general elections. The party’s count was only 300,000 votes less than its heavyweight rival Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an old five-party alliance.