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ATC issues arrest warrants for TLP chief Khadim Rizvi, three others in Faizabad sit-in case – Pakistan

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad issued arrest warrants on Tuesday for Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and three other suspects in the Faizabad case.

ATC judge Shahrukh Arjumand issued the warrants against Rizvi, Maulana Inayatullah, Ziaullah Khairi and Sheikh Azhar.

The men are wanted in cases pertaining to an attack on a police check-post and waging violence against security personnel during the Faizabad sit-in.

On Monday, the ATC also ordered Rizvi’s arrest along with other absconding suspects after they failed to appear before the court despite being issued multiple summons.

The ATC had also previously issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Rizvi and other clerics after they did not respond to summons.

Islamabad protests

Daily life in Islamabad was disrupted for 20 days in November 2017 by protesters belonging to religious parties, including TLY, the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST).

The agitators believed that during the passage of the Elections Act 2017, the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath was deliberately modified as part of some conspiracy. The amendment to the oath had been explained as a ‘clerical error’ by the government and subsequently rectified through an Act of Parliament.

Nonetheless, the protesters had occupied the Faizabad Interchange, which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road — both of which are the busiest roads in the twin cities.

The government had initiated several rounds of negotiations with the protesters, but failed each time.

The sit-in lasted nearly three weeks and culminated after an operation to end the protest by the government failed, following which the army brokered an ‘agreement’ between the state and the protesters, the terms of which included the resignation of former law minister Zahid Hamid.

The agreement had been seen as a complete surrender by the state to the protesters.

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