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Why Ban TLP When Other Parties Also Held Protests, Lahore High Court Asks Govt

The Lahore High Court (LHC), in its detailed order rejecting Punjab Home Department’s request to extend Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leader Saad Hussain Rizvi’s house arrest, has said that the government wanted to keep him in custody merely on the basis of ‘fear’ and failed to provide evidence confirming its concern.

The LHC had issued a short order last week directing the provincial government to release Rizvi if he is not involved in any other case.

Saad Rizvi, the son of late TLP founder Khadim Rizvi, was arrested on April 12 over allegations of inciting his followers to take law into their own hands to protest the government’s failure to expel the French ambassador from Pakistan over blasphemous caricatures published in France.

The court order also said that the government tried to downplay the civilians (TLP protestors) who were killed during the violent protests staged by the proscribed group in major cities following Rizvi’s arrest in April. The court stated that the government brought forth one side of the story, which pointed to its malice.

The three member review board of the high court that announced the verdict was led by Justice Malik Shehzad.

The bench also noted that other political parties like PPP, PML-N and the PTI had held protests in the past, but none of them were banned nor did their leaders face arrests.

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Naya Daur