Pakistan polls: Islamic hardline party vows to bring ‘surprising results’

As Pakistan is all set to go to polls on July 25, a newly-launched Islamic hardline party led by a radical cleric has expressed confidence to bring “surprising results” as it aimed at making inroads into the existing power matrix by stirring up the religious sentiments of the voters. The Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) Pakistan chief, Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who launched the election campaign from Karachi yesterday night said he saw no competition to his party candidates in the elections.

Sitting in a wheelchair, Mr. Rizvi, whose legs are paralysed, said his party’s manifesto is same as that of Islam’s teachings to create a truly Islamic welfare state in Pakistan.

We are confident that those who believe in Khatm-i-Nabuwwat (the finality of the prophethood) would vote for us and you will see surprising results in the elections, Mr. Rizvi said.

The party has fielded candidates on all the national assembly and provincial assembly seats from the city.

Massive traffic jams were witnessed in and around the airport area as the TLP leader travelled in a convoy surrounded by thousands of supporters from the airport to the city.

The little known TLP came into prominence in November last year when its followers led by Mr. Rizvi converged at Islamabad and Rawalpindi and staged a sit-in demanding sacking of the then Law Minister Zahid Hamid and strict action against those behind the amendment to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath in the Elections Act 2017.

The amendment had changed the wordings of a clause relating to a candidate’s belief in the finality of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad, which is submitted at the time of election by candidates, turning it into a declaration form instead of an affidavit, which puts a candidate under oath.

Mr. Hamid resigned after violent clashes broke out between the TLP supporters and security forces which had left several people dead and hundreds injured in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The amendment was later deemed a ‘clerical error’ and was rectified by the PML-N government which restored the Khatm-e-Nabuwat declaration to its original form.

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