Rizvi, Founder of Pakistan’s TLP Party Dies After Leading French Protests

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, founder of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) Party which was behind the recent protests against France died on Thursday night.   The cause of his death was not yet clear.  Pir Ijaz Ashrafi, a senior leader of TLP Party talked to Al Jazeera News and described Rizvi’s condition prior to his death.  Ashrafi said “He stayed unwell for a few days after that. We were not able to ascertain what it was.” according to Al Jazeera.

Earlier in the week Rizvi lead protests against the French government and French President Emmanuel Macron for defending the “right to blaspheme” reported Al Jazeera News.  Hundreds of TLP supporters protested against Macron and the French government after they defended publishing derrogatory religious caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.  Protesters  clashed with police and blocked a major highway into the capital Islamabad demanding the government cut diplomatic ties with France and expel the French ambassador, according to BBC News.

Protestors disbursed after government ministers signed an agreement with TLP leaders to “completely boycott French goods on a government level” Al Jazeera News reports. The agreement contained language of consideration to expel the French ambassador “within two to three months”; and it stipulated that the government  “will not appoint its ambassador to France”.   The agreement also offered amnesty to TLP protesters who were arrested earlier in the week during protests and clashes with police.

A Pakistani official that was involved in negotiating the agreement confirmed it to a reporter for Al Jazeera News. The agreement was signed by Pakistan’s interior minister and minister for religious affairs.  It is unclear what effect the death of TLP Leader, Khadim Hussain Rizvi will have on maintaining the agreement.  Rizvi’s funeral will be held in Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday, and thousands are expected to attend.


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