Clashes between Pakistani police and banned TLP party leave 7 dead

21:20, 23 October 2021
Clashes between Pakistani police and banned TLP party leave 7 dead Photo:

At least five supporters of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik far-right party and two police officers have died during protests in the east of the country.

Thousands of supporters of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party gathered in the streets of Lahore, eastern Pakistan, for the second consecutive day this weekend to march towards the Pakistani capital Islamabad and demand the release of the TLP’s leader Saad Rizvi.

The protesters clashed with police forces on their way which resulted in five deaths reported by the party’s representatives.

“Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan lost two people Friday night and three more today to police firing,” the party announced on Saturday.

Lahore’s police have not provided comments on the claims adding that at least two policemen died during the actions. The police representatives have stressed that the clashes with the banned party were not expected to end soon and called the mission “defensive”.

Law enforcement forces have suspended mobile phone service and blocked Internet connection on Friday, as well as took measures to prevent the protesters from leaving Lahore, some 350 km (210 miles) away from Islamabad, by blocking roads and deploying soldiers on the scene.

The participants in the movement demand that the government free Saad Rizvi detained in April. The party’s officials refuse to negotiate with the government and added that the manifestations will be held until authorities release their Head.

Last year the movement launched a campaign against France after President Emmanuel Macron defended the freedom of expression following a series of caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad published in the famous satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo.