ISLAMABAD: Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has launched its 25-point manifesto for the upcoming elections, assuring that the rights of religious minorities would be protected as per the Constitution.

While the TLP participated in the 2018 elections as a flag bearer for upholding the respect and stature of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as Islam, its participation in the 2024 elections appears to be start of a new political journey.

Apart from launching the politically motivated election manifesto 2024, the party leader, Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi, recently introduced a new party flag that did not have the image of the shrine of Prophet Muhammad (Roza-i-Rasool).

A senior party leader, while elaborating, said the image had been removed to maintain respect and honour of the prophet as the flags were discarded and desecrated during election canvassing.

Talking to Dawn, Pir Syed Inayatul Haq Shah said the party had not set aside its religious ideology, and had openly announced that it would only enter into a political alliance with a political party that agreed with the finality of the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad.

“But there was a conspiracy hatched against the TLP, which labelled us as a group that was involved in emotionalism and capitalised on faith,” Pir Inayat said.

He said the new manifesto showed that the party would not only stand for the religious rights of Muslims, especially to counter sacrilege by the West, but also carry forward the development of the country.

Among the key points of the election manifesto are protection of the rights of women, devolution of power to the union council level and extend all possible support to the oppressed Muslims of the world including those in Kashmir and Palestine.

The TLP has announced that it would strive to equip Pakistan army with the latest weaponry and technology, favour the local Panchayat system for speedy and affordable justice and support abolishing of Riba-based financial system and privatisation of loss-making state-owned enterprises.

The party also had plans to gradually rid the country of foreign debt and improve the education system as per the teachings of Islam, establish separate higher education institutions for girls and determine fees charged by private schools and colleges.

According to Sabook Syed, an Islamabad-based researcher and analyst on religious parties, the TLP was currently the only country-wide party which had a Barelvi school of thought base.

“The first such party was Jamiat-i-Ulema Pakistan (JUP) led by Maulana Shah Ahmed Noorani, but after that, subsequent groups like the Sunni Tehreek and Dawat-i-Islami remained confined to Karachi and did not have the backing of religious institutions like the TLP had,” Sabook Syed said.

As per data compiled by Fafen, in the 2018 elections, the TLP fielded 170 candidates who collectively polled 2.18 million votes, but none of them could make through and only three candidates managed to achieve the second slot.

For the Punjab Assembly, out of the 264 TLP candidates, only one came second while the rest lost the elections. However the party managed to get two MPA seats in Sindh out of 67 candidates who contested the polls.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Power theft
25 Jun, 2024

Power theft

FEDERAL Energy Minister Awais Leghari’s statement during a TV interview that electricity theft amounts to Rs600bn ...
Fatal air
25 Jun, 2024

Fatal air

TOXIC air can cost us our children. It causes life-threatening illnesses, inflicts lifelong damage and leads to ...
Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...
China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.