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The Story Behind Khadim Rizvi ‘Coming Back To Life’

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The death of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi remained shrouded in a bit of mystery for an hour or so when the workers of the TLP began sharing a voice note and a video clip claiming that Rizvi had come back to life and was being shifted back to the hospital. Some senior journalists also tweeted this rumour, leading to confusion about whether or not the firebrand cleric had passed away. It was later announced by TLP leaders that the belief of Rizvi coming back from the dead was misplaced, as his son had wrongly felt that the deceased’s arm was moving.

The confusion was put to rest within a few hours, but it is worth analysing how the TLP workers and supporters would have us believe that coming back to life after being pronounced dead is a possibility. In one of his speeches at a protest against Mumtaz Qadri’s hanging, Khadim Rizvi had claimed that Qadri came back to life in the ambulance when his dead body was being shifted from the prison. Rizvi had quoted Mumtaz Qadri’s father as saying that Qadri got up and told his father that he wanted to show him God’s miracle that proved the belief that Shaheed do not die, but when a police official came near the ambulance to get inside, he went back to his earlier state.

Earlier in 2009, when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a US drone strike, a video clip posted by TTP supporters/affiliates on Youtube showed two big eye-shaped clouds on the sky in Swat when the azaan was being said. Those who posted the video claimed that it was Baitullah Mehsud’s eyes and that he had been immortalised after laying dowm his life for the cause of Shariah.

There are many other instances of religious hardliners narrating such ‘miracles’ to prove that their deceased leader was a pious man of God. There is a pattern in which supporters of extremist individuals try to elevate their status after their death. Therefore, the rumours of the TLP chief coming back to life may have been deliberately cooked up by his followers.

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