- On Wednesday, former patron-in-chief and founding leader of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Pir Afzal Qadri, stirred a controversy around the group's leadership, when he questioned the succession of the "mentally unstable" Saad Hussain Rizvi to lead the party after the death of Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
LAHORE: TLP's former patron-in-chief and founding leader, Pir Afzal Qadri has stirred controversy around the group's leadership when he questioned the succession of the "mentally unstable" Saad Hussain Rizvi to lead the party after the death of Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
Pir Afzal Qadri, in a video clip of him addressing his congregation, questioned the religious credentials of Saad Hussain Rizvi, alleging that he was even a Hafiz (an individual who knows the Quran by heart).
Qadri, who claimed to be the mastermind behind the group and reiterated his contribution to the party, for which he alleged that the late Khadim Rizvi was "credited for", stated that it was "mutually agreed upon between him and the late party chief that nepotism would not be allowed within the party, and the leadership not passed down to relatives of founders”.
Qadri stated that "I was the one who ran campaigns for Mumtaz Qadri and against Asia Bibi. I have been nominated in 106 cases due to this movement. After the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, everyone thought it was the end of the movement, but I was the one who renamed it and carried on".
Qadri claimed that Khadim Rizvi was aware that his son was "incompetent" and used to request him to "pray for Saad", who he alleged was mentally unstable, an addict and had not even completed his education.
Party spokesperson Zubair Ahmad stated that Qadri had resigned from the party in May 2019, after he was held and captured by the authorities in a crackdown, adding that Saad Rizvi was elected by the party's consultative body (or Shoora) prior to the funeral of the late chief.
Ahmad added that the Shoora is the only body that is empowered to elect the party chief, and based on the near-unanimous consensus of the party's members, Saad Rizvi is now the "legitimate leader", stating that "such attempts to create controversy could only be regretted".