A petition to suspend Tehreek-e-Labbaik’s (TLP) registration as a political party has been filed with the Supreme Court.
The petition was submitted by a barrister with names of the federal government, ECP and TLP leaders Khadim Rizvi and Afzal Qadri as respondents. It states that TLP is working against the state’s stability and that Rizvi and Qadri should be held in contempt of court. After the SC ordered Aasia Bibi’s acquittal, circulated videos showed TLP leaders calling for the death of several judges.
Action should be taken against Rizvi and Qadri for spreading chaos and terrorism, argues the petitioner, adding that their registration as a political party should be cancelled to ensure the basic rights of citizens, the petition further stated.
Earlier, a writ petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on November 10 requesting the federal government to initiate treason proceedings against Rizvi and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. The petition argued that the two political leaders had issued anti-state statements against the judiciary and the armed forces.
The petitioner implored that the TLP and JUI-F chiefs had clearly violated Article 6 of the Constitution in the garb of protests. He contended that under The High Treason Act, 1973, only the federal government is empowered to initiate treason proceedings.
The petitioner prayed that the court direct the federal government to initiate proceedings against the TLP and JUI-F leaders under the charges of high treason. He pleaded that the country was held hostage for three days following their statements.
Earlier this month, civil and military leadership hinted at taking legal action against TLP leadership for creating a law and order situation and challenging the writ of the state in the wake of the apex court’s order to acquit Aasia Bibi.
No action has been taken since and after TLP leaders claimed miscreants wreaking havoc during protests were not associated with the party, Minister of State Shehryar Afridi absolved them of the responsibility.
The three-day violent protests, triggered by the Supreme Court’s October 31 verdict, were called off by the TLP after it struck a deal with government negotiators.
However, the PTI government faced severe criticism from opposition parties for ‘bowing down to extremists’.