Back-door talks: TLP’s Rizvi, Qadri may be released soon

LAHORE, Feb 10 (INP): Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leaders Khadim Hussain Rizvi and Pir Afzal Qadri’s release is expected soon after successful back-door talks with the government.

The report states the federal government, after being assured that the TLP will accept the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict on Aasia Bibi, is contemplating the release of the two religio-political leaders. However, even if they are released, it is likely that Rizvi and Qadri will remain booked for terrorism and treason until a court orders otherwise.

Sources privy to the development claim the TLP leadership has agreed to the arrangement after seeing the lackluster response from party workers over their arrests.

Under the agreement with the PTI-led federal government, the religio-political
party will be bound to conduct their operations peacefully. In addition, Rizvi and Qadri will be barred from issuing any edicts or statements branding people ‘Wajibul Qatal’ or ‘Kafir’ over on religious differences.

Rizvi and Qadri were taken into ‘protective custody’ on November 23 last year as a crackdown was initiated against the party’s activists and leaders in all major cities of the country.

The action came after TLP took to the street after the acquittal of Aasia Bibi by the Supreme Court on October 30, paralysing major cities of Pakistan. In his immediate reaction, Prime Minister Imran Khan had urged the protesters not to incite people to violence and warned them of the state’s response.

During the protests, the TLP leaders criticised state institutions, including the military and judiciary, and both were charged with treason and terrorism on December 1.