TLP files appeal with interior ministry against ban

Published May 1, 2021
Supporters of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party shout sloans as they block a street during a protest on April 19. — AFP/File
Supporters of the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party shout sloans as they block a street during a protest on April 19. — AFP/File

• Minister says body to decide on request in 30 days
• Govt proscribed outfit after violent protests by supporters

ISLAMABAD: The banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has filed an appeal with the interior ministry, seeking revocation of the ban imposed on it, sources told Dawn on Friday.

An official said a right of review was available under section 11C (1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act which reads: “Where any proscribed organisation is aggrieved by the order of the Federal Government, made under section 11B, it may, within thirty days of such order, file a review application, in writing before the Federal Government stating the grounds on which it is made and the Federal Government shall, after hearing the applicant, decide the matter on reasonable grounds within ninety days”.

He said an organisation whose review application had been refused under sub-section (1) could file an appeal with a high court within 30 days of the refusal.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed confirmed the development and said the appeal was received on Thursday and had been taken up for consideration in a meeting on Friday.

The TLP was informed that its appeal had been received and the review process had started, he added.

A committee, comprising two representatives of the interior ministry and one from the law ministry, will be formed to decide on the appeal within 30 days, the minister said.

The announcement to formally place the ultra right-wing party on the list of banned terrorist organisations was made by Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed during a joint press conference with Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri two weeks ago.

The development followed three days of violent protests staged by TLP activists against the arrest of their leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi. One of TLP’s key demands was expulsion of the French ambassador.

A notification declaring TLP a proscribed organisation was issued by the interior ministry shortly after the federal cabinet, through a circulation, approved a summary to ban the party.

The notification said: “The federal government has reasonable grounds to believe that Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan was engaged in terrorism, acted in a manner prejudicial to the peace and security of the country, involved in creating anarchy by intimidating the public, caused grievous bodily harm, hurt and death to the personnel of the law enforcement agencies and innocent bystanders, attacked civilians and officials, created wide-scale hurdles, threatened, abused and promoted hatred, vandalised and ransacked public and government properties, including vehicles, and caused arson, blocked essential health supplies to hospitals, and has used, threatened, coerced, intimidated and overawed the government [and] the public and created sense of fear and insecurity in the society and the public at large.”

“Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 11B(1) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, the federal government is pleased to list Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan in the First Schedule to the said Act as a proscribed organisation for the purposes of the said Act,” it added.

The government had announced that it would move to ban the TLP, whose leader had called for the expulsion of the French envoy.

Its chief, Saad Hussain Rizvi, was detained hours after making his demand, bringing thousands of his supporters to the streets in cities across the country.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2021

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