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Protests erupt in multiple cities after TLP Chief Saad Rizvi's arrest in Lahore

  • The Lahore Police has arrested Saad Hussain Rizvi, the chief of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), from a mosque near his residence, a party spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
  • Pir Ejaz Ashrafi, the TLP spokesperson told media that Rizvi was apprehended after Zuhar prayers from Jamia Masjid Rehmat ul Aalameen situated on Multan Road, Lahore.
Updated 12 Apr 2021

The Lahore Police has arrested Saad Hussain Rizvi, the chief of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), from a mosque near his residence, a party spokesperson confirmed on Monday.

Pir Ejaz Ashrafi, the TLP spokesperson told media that Rizvi was apprehended after Zuhar prayers from Jamia Masjid Rehmat ul Aalameen situated on Multan Road, Lahore.

The arrest was made by the Punjab Elite Force, and came amid approaching deadline of an agreement between the government and the religio-political party over severing ties with France by sending back its diplomat over publication of blasphemous caricatures.

TLP had announced a sit-in in Islamabad on February 17 to press for its demands. But on February 10, a government committee headed by Religious Affairs Minister Qadri assured TLP that it would present its demands in the parliament for approval by April 20.

Ashrafi said that the police didn’t furnish any reason for the arrest, and maintained that it was an attempt to sabotage the protest against the government called for April 20.

Saad, a young and dynamic religious leader, was elected as the TLP chief in November 2020 following his father Khadim Hussan Rizvi’s death. The announcement was made after the funeral prayers.

The TLP supporters took to streets soon after the news broke out. They are staging sit-ins on all major highways of and thoroughfares of Lahore and Islamabad.

As of now, National Highway N-5 (Islamabad-Peshawar Section), Taxila underpass, Lahore-Okara Section and from Thokar Niaz Baig to Dina Nath due to protest.

Moreover, these areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are also blocked for traffic:

  1. Athaal Chowk
  2. Murree Road at Waris Khan.
  3. Liaqat Bagh Road.
  4. Rawal Dam Chowk
  5. Rawat T-cross

Commuters have been advised to avoid unnecessary movement and plan travel accordingly.