We witnessed previously during the Faizabad sit-in in Islamabad that several “mullahs” took to the streets of Pakistan. There were massive blockades (to entry points of Islamabad and Lahore) and we witnessed a media black out too.
The protest was started by a radical Pakistani political party called Tehreek e Labbaik Ya Rasul Allah (TLYRA), protesting the change in a clause of the Election Reform Bill 2017.
With no signs of the protest coming to an end, the government decided to arrest these individuals for not only causing unrest but also indulging in hate speech which was endangering lives. A case in point was the Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid; who eventually had to resign from his post and leave the country due to multiple death threats.
— Fizza Haideri (@Fizzahaideri) November 25, 2017
There were multiple memes and jokes after this protest ended the first time around back in November 2017
Finally a deal was brokered between the government and the protesting group, mediated by the Pakistan army. This agreement came to be known as the Faizabad Agreement
The government gave in to some of the demands of the group, while in return they ended the protest with the hope that the government would comply with their demands.
However several cases were filed during and after the Faizabad protests which were directed at investigating the individuals instigating violence amongst masses. Among them was TLYRA chief Khadim Rizvi. He was one of the prominent leaders of the protesting group.
These cases were taken up by an anti-terrorism court; a court in which individuals are not offered a free trial due to the nature of the crimes. An anti-terrorism court recently issued arrest warrants for Khadim Rizvi after declaring him an offender
However the government was finding it difficult to arrest him because of his influence, the sensitivity of the issue and the exploitation of the religious injunctions by these individuals.
At the same time, Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared that the agreement between the government and the TLYRA was not legally binding
This further aggravated the group, which was already trying to evade the arrest of their leader and waiting for the government to comply with the agreement. In response to this delay by the government and the declaration that the agreement was not legally binding, the group again arranged a protest outside Data Darbar in Lahore.
They have been protesting since the last two weeks, demanding the government to comply with the clauses or threatening country wide protests after a particular deadline.
Meanwhile Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah was in touch with the group to get them to shun the protest and solve the issue via dialogue before the Faizabad scenario is repeated.
However, the group is not ready to cooperate and is once again out on the streets to cause blockade and blackouts
DHARNA RELOADED?……Tehrik-i-Labbaik begins to block roads in Lahore
— Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist) April 12, 2018
Faizpur interchange (Lahore) at M-2 has been closed for traffic by Khadim Rizvi's thugs. The @GovtOfPunjab decides to act as a mere spectator.
— Ali Salman Alvi (@alisalmanalvi) April 12, 2018
Major routes in Lahore are being blocked and there are reports of the M2 being closed off as well. They are trying their best to recreate the same situation that happened back in November. Be sure to ensure that you are safe and refrain from using routes that have been overtaken by these individuals.
cover image via tribune.com.pk