Sat, 15 May 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 12 (ANI): Protests broke out at numerous places in major cities in Pakistan on Monday to oppose the detention of Saad Hussain Rizvi, the chief of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.

Rizvi was detained by security forces in Lahore earlier in the day.

No first information report (FIR) against the TLP leader has been registered so far. Rizvi had been taken into custody as a "pre-emptive measure", Dawn quoted a senior police official as saying.

Rizvi was taken into custody after the TLP chief had announced to stage a protest on April 20 from Lahore to Islamabad in the shape of a long march over the agreement with Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government over the French envoy's expulsion.

The TLP has been demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador over the publication of blasphemous caricatures.

Following news of Rizvi's arrest, several highways and busy roads were blocked by the TLP workers in major cities in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

TLP member Khalid Awan told Dawn that the TLP chief was taken into custody on the way back from leading a funeral prayer and was kept at the Gulshan-i-Ravi police station. He said the government had "turned back on its promise" to expel the French ambassador by April 20 and took Rizvi into custody.

"We will not step back from our mission because of Saad Rizvi's arrest," he said.

The TLP had previously called off protests in February after an agreement was signed between the group and the government in which it was decided that the ruling dispensation would present the terms of an earlier agreement signed between them last year in the parliament before April 20.

According to dawn, the earlier agreement had stated that the government would reach a consensus in the parliament regarding the expulsion of the French ambassador within three months, would not appoint its ambassador to France, and would release all the arrested workers of the TLP. The government would also not register any case against TLP leaders or workers, it stated. (ANI)

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