TLP party protest situation
Violent anti-French protests by the Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan party have paralyzed Pakistan for a few past days.
The TLP, a religious group is founded by Khadim Hussain Rizvi on the intensifying issues of “blasphemy”. It has been agitating since November for the expulsion of the French ambassador and products over remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron.
This party held a big sit-in protest and blocked the main highway into the capital Islamabad. Until reaching an agreement with the government on consideration of its demands after November.
The arrest of TLP chief
However, in February, it threatened further protests if the government did not fulfill its demands. but government representatives protected an extension in the deadline.
On Monday, before the new April 20 deadline, police arrested TLP leader Saad Rizvi, son of party initiator Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
In reaction, thousands of TLP supporters are launching protests and blocking roads and highways across the country. However, different video footages from protests in different cities seen violent clashes among police and protesters
The TLP has demanded the government expel the French ambassador and boycott of the French in Pakistan. TLP protestors have also demanded the release of Saad Rizvi, the 26-year-old leader of the group.
Fierce TLP protests have caused havoc in the Muslim-majority country and causing supporters and police clashes in major cities. However, police officers & supporters have been killed and injured in these clashes.
Though Prime Minister Imran Khan's government is being heavily disparaged for misrule the protests and not acting swiftly against fierce activists.
However, following the anti-French protests, On Thursday, the French Embassy in Pakistan advised all French nationals and companies to temporarily leave the country.
French nationals and French companies directed to leave the country temporarily, due to the serious threats to French interests in Pakistan
Will the state change its 'pro-Islamist policy?
Spectators say that if the TLP threat goes unopposed, it will result in Pakistan's international isolation. Haqqani said the country's establishment, the military, has "factually used Islamist groups to reinforce Pakistan's anti-India narrative."
According to him PM Imran Khan, who ports Islamist opinions himself, needs to tell Pakistanis to have a picture of the world.
But according to the experts, the exclusion of TLP won't solve the problem of increasing religious extremism in Pakistan.
Kugelman said that by banning TLP Pakistan has done the right job but many extremist groups have been banned in Pakistan, and they tend to reappear under new names.
Further, he added that to achieve true success in removing the TLP threat, Islamabad needs to not only ban it but it must be happening on the state level with an aim to delegitimize the TLP and its ideologies. The party enjoys considerable support, and so simply banning it won't make it go away.