TLP head Saad Rizvi arrested Gridlocks in major cities

Amraiz Khan

The workers of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) Monday brought to standstill traffic in several major cities and highways to protest the detention of their leader, stranding thousands of commuters – women, elderly and children.

The protest came as Punjab police arrested TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi on Monday and his arrest news spread through the TLP social media networks.

Ambulances with blaring sirens and carrying coronavirus and other patients to hospitals were stuck in huge traffic jams in Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi and many other cities.

The TLP had given a deadline of April 20 to the government to meet its demands, including the expulsion of the French ambassador from Pakistan, over the blasphemous caricatures.

The government had agreed on tabling a resolution in the parliament before Eidul Fitr based on the demands of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

Sources said several rounds of talks were held between the government and the TLP leadership on the issue. However, the TLP was adamant to meet its demands before the deadline of April 20.

The agreement with the TLP came on February 10 where the government committee headed by Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri assured to take up the matter before the Parliament, and the group agreed on ending the sit-in at Faizabad,
Islamabad, after a violent day of protest.

The detention by the police in Lahore sparked the protests that soon spread to several major cities leading to massive roadblocks.

A spokesperson of the National Highway and Motorway Police in a traffic advisory for the public confirmed road
closures at major intersections on the GT Road, and on several interchanges on the Motorways from Peshawar to Lahore.

Central Vice [Amir] President TLP Syed Zaheer ul Hassan Shah in a video message asked all TLP leaders and workers to “come out of their homes where ever they are … protest on roads and jam the entire country.”