CJP takes notice of damage to properties during TLP protest

Dunya News

The CJP sought a report from federal and provincial governments

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday took notice of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan s (TLP) protests and sit-ins across the country after the acquittal of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, from Supreme Court (SC) in blasphemy case.

The CJP while taking notice of vandalism in reaction to the Asia Bibi case verdict, sought a report from federal and provincial governments on damage caused to public and private property during last week s countrywide protests.

Taking notice of the breakthrough in response to the verdict of Asia Bibi case, Justice Nisar said that purpose of to take the is to address the problems of people who have faced in the form of financial and life loss during the sit-in of a far right religious party over acquittal of Asia BiBi.

However, the CJP took this suo motu notice over the media reports and sought the records of forfeiture from federal and all provincial governments within three days.

On October 31, thousands of demonstrators blocked major roads across Pakistan in protest against the acquittal of a Christian woman in a high-profile blasphemy case.

The Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) political party, led by Khadim Rizvi, organised rallies in cities across the South Asian country on Thursday, despite a warning from Prime Minister Imran Khan not to "force the government to have to take action".

Aasia Bibi, 53, who was on death row for eight years, was acquitted by the country s top court on Wednesday, with judges saying the prosecution contained "glaring and stark" contradictions.

Shortly after the Supreme Court s landmark ruling was pronounced, Rizvi led a major protest outside government buildings in the eastern city of Lahore, with fellow TLP leaders declaring the three judges who acquitted Bibi to be "liable to be killed".

The sit-in protest in Lahore remained the largest TLP demonstration on Thursday, with other major demonstrations being held in the southern city of Karachi, Pakistan s largest. Protesters were also blockading a major highway into the capital, Islamabad.

Most schools and many businesses remained closed in all three cities through the day, with hospitals on high alert in case the protests turned violent. Highways were partially shut down and the federal cabinet held an emergency meeting to discuss the law and order situation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a televised address to the nation, accused the TLP of attempting to stir religious sentiments for political gains.

"I say to these people: do not confront this state ... do not damage this country for your vote bank," said Khan. "If you do this, I promise that the government will do its duty … I ask you: do not force the government to have to take action," he added.