Saturday, April 17, 2021

Banned party TLP's chief Saad Rizvi placed on fourth schedule, assets frozen

Punjab home department says his national identity card has been blocked and he will have to surrender his passport to police

Protesters throw stones over the police armoured vehicle during a protest in Barakahu neighbourhood of Islamabad on April 13, 2021. — AFP/File

  • Saad Rizvi's assets have been frozen, and his NIC has been blocked.
  • The banned party's chief will have to submit his passport to the police.
  • The move comes after days of violent protests in the country.

The Punjab government on Saturday placed Saad Rizvi, the chief of the banned party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), on the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

In a notification, Punjab's home department said his assets have been frozen, and his national identity card has been blocked — which means he cannot conduct transactions via banks, nor can he sell or purchase any property.

Similarly, the National Counter-Terrorism Authority, a day earlier, placed TLP on the proscribed organisations list.

Rizvi has to submit his original passport to the in-charge of the concerned police station.

After he submits his passport, he will have to obtain permission from the police station when he wishes to leave his residence — and provide details of any meetings he wishes to hold anywhere.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan explained his government had taken action against the banned TLP because it challenged the writ of the state and used street violence, attacking the public and law enforcers.

In a series of tweets, the prime minister explained the state's rationale and the actions it took to control violence after hundreds of policemen were injured in clashes with workers of the religiopolitical party.

“Let me make clear to people here & abroad: Our govt only took action against TLP under our anti-terrorist law when they challenged the writ of the state and used street violence & attacking [sic] the public & law enforcers. No one can be above the law and the Constitution,” PM Imran Khan said in his first direct statement on the matter.

On Thursday, the federal government had declared the TLP a proscribed organisation under anti-terrorism laws and launched a broad crackdown against the party.

The action came after days of violent protests and traffic disruptions in the largest cities of Pakistan, which saw public and private property damaged by gangs of hooligans bearing sticks and turning on law enforcement officials at will.