Khadim Rizvi, Afzal Qadri booked under treason, terrorism charges: Information Minister

Khadim Rizvi, Afzal Qadri booked under treason, terrorism charges: Information Minister

Government has registered cases against the key leaders of Tehreek-e-Labbaik on charges of sedition and terrorism for causing damages worth millions of rupees to public and private property and people in their protest.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad this afternoon, Information Minister Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said case has been registered against Tehreek-e-Labbaik leader Khadim Rizvi on charges of sedition and terrorism at a police station in Lahore.

Similar charges have been levied against Pir Afzal Qadri, Hafiz Farooq ul Hassan and others.

The Minister said all activists of the party involved in ransacking the properties, torching the vehicles and misbehaving with people, including women and children, will also be tried under terrorism charges.

Others, who were present as spectators but not involved in any disruptive activity, will be released after paying heavy fines and surety bonds that they will not be involved in such activities again.

The Minister said charges against them will be presented in courts and punishments awarded according to law.

He said a large operation was launched by police based on intelligence. He said all main opposition parties were taken onboard before the launch of this operation.

Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said during the operation, 2899 people were taken in protective custody in Punjab, 139 in Sindh and 126 in Islamabad.

He appreciated the cooperation extended by the opposition parties on this national issue.  

The Minister said the leadership of Tehreek-e-Labbaik incited the people to disrupt the system. 

He said protest is a legal and constitutional right of all citizens but state will not allow its writ to be challenged.

He warned nobody will be allowed to take law and constitution into hands and strict action will be taken against violators. 

Responding to a question, Fawad Chaudhary said all the religious scholars are also unanimous in saying that the politics practiced by the Tehreek-e-Labaik is not appropriate and they have distanced themselves from their acts.

When asked about the opposition's criticism to the government's economic policies, the Information Minister said we are a scandal-less government.

He said not a single scandal surfaced against any government official in the first one hundred days.

He said our vision is to take forward the country and the economy will witness improvement in the long run.

Responding to a question about anti encroachment drive, the Information Minister categorically stated that it will be taken forward without taking into consideration any pressure.

The Information Minister also expressed his surprise over the statement of the Indian Army Chief on Kartarpur Corridor.

He reminded that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a positive statement on the corridor. He said it appears that the Indian Army chief is not under the control of Modi.

He said India needs to clarify whether the decisions are taken by its military or the civilian leadership.