|President||Khadim Hussain Rizvi|
|Founded||1 August 2015|
Support of Section 295-C (Blasphemy Law)
|Religion||Sunni Islam (specifically, Barelvi)|
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Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (abbreviated TLP; Urdu: تحریک لبیک پاکستان, "Here-I-Am Movement Pakistan", referring to a phrase used in Islamic prayer) is a far-right Islamist political party in Pakistan. The party was founded by preacher Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
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. Most of the party's members belong to the Barelvi school of Islamic thought, the majority in Pakistan.
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan was formed on 1 August 2015 by Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
Khatm e Nabuwat Bill controversy
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.
Minister Zahid Hamid resigned in response to the protests.
Acquittal and release of Asia Bibi
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, Tehreek-e-Labbaik party members held protests across Pakistan that included "blocking roads and damaging infrastructure". 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."
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. 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). 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."
This agreement between the Government of Pakistan and Tehreek-e-Labbaik has led to "allegations [that] the government was capitulating to extremists". 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." 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". 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." British Pakistani Christian Association chairman Wilson Chowdhry stated that “I am not surprised that Imran Khan's regime has caved in to extremists”. 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."
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. 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.
Party leaders' arrest
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.
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- 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.
- "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.
- "Asia Bibi released from jail, to be shifted to the Netherlands". Outlook. 7 November 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- "TLP Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi taken into 'protective custody', information minister announces". Reporters - Dawn (newspaper). 23 November 2018. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
- Mian Abrar (23 November 2018). "Khadim Rizvi among other TLP leaders arrested". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 24 November 2018.