Khadim Rizvi Charged With Treason and Terrorism
The Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhary, said in a press conference on Saturday that the TLP leader and populist cleric Khadim Rizvi has been charged with treason and terrorism.
The move comes after the government took Rizvi into custody from his home on November 23rd. Initially the government maintained that the cleric had been taken into ‘protective custody’, as security forces launched a crackdown against the religio-political party.
“Protecting public lives and properties is the first priority of the government,” said the information minister in a tweet earlier.
“A large operation was launched in which all the institutions of the government took part,” said the information minister. He further informed the press that all institutions and major opposition parties were onboard and supported the government’s decision. Fawad also commended the media for its support in the operation against elements of TLP involved in anti-state activities.
The minister elaborated that the sentence for the charges could be life imprisonment and that Khadim Rizvi’s case will be heard by the Anti-terror court. When asked about the workers of TLP the government had detained, Chaudhary said that all such workers will be released after “sureties”.
The workers of TLP were arrested after Khadim Rizvi was taken into custody. To prevent violence and riots, the government arrested anyone who protested against the detention. The party had staged violent countrywide protests against the acquittal of Aasi Bibi last month. The action was taken following TLP’s refusal to withdraw the call to stage a protest sit-in [at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi] on November 25.