An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad indefinitely postponed the hearings of cases against Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi and others on Monday.
The ATC, hearing the cases filed against TLP leaders in connection with last year's Faizabad sit-in, postponed the hearings on prosecution's request as police claimed it was investigating the case anew and wanted to file a new charge sheet.
The prosecutor requested the the court to not hold hearings until the new charge sheet is filed, which was accepted by ATC Judge Shah Arjumand.
The move comes in the backdrop of recent negotiations between the Punjab government and TLP leaders protesting in Lahore. The organisation had called off protests after being assured that the cases against its leadership, including Rizvi and Pir Afzal Qadri, and workers would be dropped, and the Faizabad agreement would be implemented.
Following negotiations, a first information report (FIR) was registered regarding the deaths of TLP activists killed during the sit-in while a number of arrested activists were released.
The protests in the capital at Faizabad had begun last year after a change to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath via the Elections Act 2017 came to the fore. Despite the government terming it a clerical mistake and immediately moving to bring the document back to its original form, the opposition and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) demanded action against those involved.
Violent protests then spread across the country after the federal government used force against those camping at Faizabad. The protests were eventually called off when the government accepted most of their major demands under an army-brokered agreement.
The demands of the protesters included making public the Raja Zafarul Haq report — containing details of the investigation into the clerical error, the release of all arrested protesters, formation of committee to suggest action against those who used force against protesters, and full implementation of an earlier agreement between Punjab government and TLYRA.
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