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Photo: SAMAA TV

Thousands of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan workers and supporters have made their way to Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan to attend the funeral prayers of party chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

The 55-year-old died in Lahore Thursday night. He leaves behind a wife, two sons, and three daughters.

The prayers will be offered by Abdul Sattar. The firebrand cleric will be laid to rest at Rehmat ul Lil Aalameen mosque after the prayers. He was the prayer leader at the mosque and had been living there for the last two decades.

The Lahore police have deputed 26 SHOs, 13 DSPs, and thousands of policemen for security purposes. Internet jammers have been put in place too.

Here are some of the pictures from the funeral.

Photo: SAMAA TVKhadim Rizvi’s death

Rizvi was brought to Lahore’s Shaikh Zayed Hospital and declared dead at 8:48pm Thursday.

On duty administrator Salman Godil said Rizvi had already passed away when he was brought to the hospital. The people who brought Rizvi to the hospital said he had been sick for three to four days and had collapsed. Rizvi was wheelchair bound.

Photo: FileHe said without an autopsy, it will be almost impossible to determine the cause of death.

His close friend Sahibzada Bashir Ahmed Yousafi said that Rizvi’s health deteriorated after he returned from Islamabad. He had difficulty breathing and developed a fever, he said, adding that he had a checkup performed at the hospital but wasn’t able to recover.

At the rally the TLP held in Islamabad’s Faizabad on Monday, Rizvi had said he was ill, which is why he wasn’t able to join the participants earlier.

Where did the TLP come from?

The TLP is the political face of the TLYR, which was formed in 2016 after Qadri, the convicted murderer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was executed. The group demands death for blasphemers and strict implementation of its version of Islamic law in the country.

The group first emerged in Punjab as Tehreek-e-Rehai Mumtaz Qadri (movement for Mumtaz Qadri’s release) in 2015 and was later renamed the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR).

The TLP is the political face of the TLYR, which was formed in 2016 after Qadri, the convicted murderer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was executed. The group demands death for blasphemers and strict implementation of its version of Islamic law in the country.

Just a few months before the 2018 elections, the Rizvi-led party staged a 21-day sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad against a minor change in the oath lawmakers take.

The government acted on the military’s suggestion and the sit-in ended after the military acted as a mediator to end the protest and the PML-N government removed its minister for law Zahid Hamid.

Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, the incumbent ISI DG, had signed the agreement between the PML-N government and TLP as a guarantor.

In background conversations with this reporter in the past, mainstream political parties, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s party, had accused the military of launching Rizvi’s group to dent its vote bank in Punjab.

Abdul Gh Lone

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