ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of a case relating to registration and funding sources of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) till Feb 25 as nobody turned up to represent the party before an ECP bench.
The three-member bench of the commission, headed by retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, issued another notice to TLP chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and adjourned the hearing till Feb 25.
Member of the ECP from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa retired Justice Irshad Qaiser said that a response to the letter written to jail authorities had been received, which stated that Mr Rizvi had been released on Jan 30.
The information reaching the commission appeared to be confusing as reports suggest that an antiterrorism court is said to have extended the judicial remand of Mr Rizvi till Feb 8.
TLP leader was taken into protective custody late last year
The TLP leader was taken into protective custody by police in Lahore after launching a massive crackdown on the party and its activists in November last year. The crackdown came ahead of Mr Rizvi’s call to party members and activists to observe a martyrs’ day on Nov 25.
He had asked workers and supporters to gather at Faizabad in the federal capital — the same venue where the party staged a week-long sit-in in 2017 which virtually paralysed Islamabad and led to several people losing their lives.
“The action was prompted by the TLP’s refusal to withdraw its call for protest on Nov 25. It’s to safeguard public life, property and order,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had tweeted following Mr Rizvi’s arrest.
The arrest “has nothing to do with Asia Bibi case”, Mr Chaudhry had said, adding that the TLP had insisted on coming to Rawalpindi, “refusing [the government’s] proposal for alternative arrangements”.
A week after the arrest, Mr Chaudhry announced that Mr Rizvi had been booked under sedition and terrorism charges at Lahore’s Civil Lines Police Station.
Mr Rizvi and his party leaders and activists are accused of staging violent protests, passing incendiary remarks against the judiciary and the prime minister as well as provoking the military to stage a mutiny — all in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s acquittal of Aasia Bibi in a blasphemy case.