TLP chief Saad Rizvi released from jail: party spokesperson

Rizvi released after more than seven months following TLP's de-proscription, removal of his name from Fourth Schedule

Zahid Shirwani
TLP chief Saad Rizvi.
TLP chief Saad Rizvi.

LAHORE: Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Saad Rizvi has been released from jail and later reached the Rehmatul Lil Alameen Mosque, a party spokesperson said Thursday.

Rizvi was taken into custody on deputy commissioner Lahore's directives in April shortly after the party announced countrywide protests.

The TLP chief has been released after a reference, filed in the Supreme Court's federal review board for his detention, was withdrawn.

Govt strikes secretive deal with TLP

Rizvi's release follows days of protests staged by the then proscribed party.

The TLP announced an end to the prolonged sit-in after the government held successful talks and reached a deal with the party on October 31, which Mufti Muneeb-Ur-Rehman declared a "victory" for Islam.

However, the contents of the deal are still not known. Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on November 13 said that details of the agreement would be revealed "within 10 days".

On November 2, the government began implementing the secretive accord with TLP, with reports suggesting that it had released more than 800 supporters of the party arrested across Punjab.

In compliance with the deal, the Punjab government, on November 4, decided to remove the names of at least 90 activists of the then proscribed outfit from the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. In addition, the Punjab government decided to release 100 other activists of the organisation from different jails in the province.

Three days later, on November 7, the TLP ceased to be a proscribed organisation after the government accorded approval to the Ministry of Interior's summary asking for its removal from the First Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997.

On November 10, a Punjab Home Department notification was issued removing Saad Rizvi’s name from the Fourth Schedule of Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 with immediate effect.