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LAHORE: A day ahead of the first death anniversary of former chief of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)— Allama Khadim Hussian Rizvi – his son and the incumbent chief Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi has been set free from Kot Lakhpat jail.

TLP would observe the first death anniversary of late Khadim Hussain Rizvi on November 19 (tomorrow) and it was on expected that the TLP chief would be set free before the anniversary.

Saad Hussain Rizvi was held at Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore since his detention in April this year. After his release from jail, the TLP chief has reached the party’s headquarter—Masjid Rehmatul Aalameen— Multan Road, Lahore where hundreds of TLP workers welcomed their leader on his release.
Saad Rizvi’s name was removed from the Fourth Schedule by the Punjab Home Department.

Earlier, the Punjab Home Department had decided to withdraw the appeal filed by the Punjab government against the release of Saad Rizvi. The Punjab Home Department had also sent a list of 98 cases registered against Saad Rizvi to the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs.

Saad Rizvi was taken into custody under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960 over charges of inciting his followers to take the law into their own hands after the government didn’t fulfill their demand of expelling the French ambassador. The TLP chief was facing several cases including those registered under Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997.

In November 2020, an agreement was reached between TLP and the PTI government after the religious party held protests in the capital led by its then chief Khadim Rizvi, involving the parliament to decide the fate of the French ambassador in three months.

After the government had expressed its inability to implement the agreement in the given deadline of February 16, TLP had agreed to delay its protest by two-and-a-half months to April 20. A week before the deadline, the TLP chief, in a video message, had asked its workers to get ready to launch a long march to Islamabad if the government didn’t meet their demands by the deadline. The move had prompted the government and they arrested him on April 12 on the Wahdat Road in Lahore where he had gone to attend a funeral.

Police then registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the TLP chief under ATA sections. Within the next few hours, protesters took to the streets in Lahore and blocked the Grand Trunk Road at a number of points. The government had also banned the TLP, following the violent protests and sit-ins it staged across the country.

On July 2, a review board of the LHC had rejected the Punjab Home Department’s request to extend Rizvi’s detention. It had released its detailed order in the case on July 8, observing that Rizvi should be “released forthwith” if he was not required in any other case.

In the light of the review board’s decision, Rizvi’s detention was supposed to end on July 10 but the deputy commissioner Lahore had issued a fresh notification under Section 11-EEE (Powers to arrest and detain suspected persons) of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 and detained him for 90 days.

In October, TLP had marched towards Islamabad from Lahore even in the absence of their leader Saad Rizvi who was still detained. A total of 11 policemen were martyred several protesters injured during that clashes that continued for several days.

However, after intervention of key governments and religious functionaries, the PTI government and TLP reached an agreement under which not only the religious party’s name was removed from the list of banned outfits but its of workers were also released.

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