Speaking at a ceremony in Islamabad, Pakistan PM Imran Khan addressed the recent violence by workers and activists of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) which enveloped Pakistan throughout last week.
“ln our country it is a great misfortune that many times our political parties and religious parties use Islam wrongly and use it such that they deal damage to their own country,” said Imran Khan. “The others (countries) don’t care, we only end up hurting our own people and country.”, Khan added.
“We don’t harm the country where the (blasphemy) crime happens, we are harming ourselves”, Khan said later in his speech.
“میں باقی مسلم سربراہان مملکت کو ساتھ ملا کر ایسی مہم چلانے کی کوشش کر رہا ہوں جس کی کامیابی کے بعد دنیا بھر میں کسی بھی شخص کو ہمارے نبی ﷺ کی شان میں گستاخی کرنے سے خوف آئے گا” – وزیراعظم عمران خان#عمران_خان_پاسبان_حرمت_رسول#NationBehindState pic.twitter.com/pv9zYgscZk— Azhar Mashwani (@MashwaniAzhar) April 19, 2021
“Inshallah, there will come a time that even in Western countries, people will fear making the mistake the insult the Prophet. A worldwide campaign is needed to achieve this. Nobody in the West, where the mistakes (blasphemy) happen, will care about Pakistanis rioting, we’re only hurting ourselves.” Imran Khan further clarified.
These comments from Imran Khan come after violent protests broke out in several cities of Pakistan because security forces arrested Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) leader Saad Hussain Rizvi. TLP is a radical Islamist party that was founded in 2015 to prevent any changes to the existing blasphemy law in the country.
In their charter of demands, TLP directed the ouster of the French ambassador within 3 months. They demanded the release of arrested members of the TLP and said that no further cases should be registered against the party’s workers. TLP also demanded that Pakistan would not appoint its ambassador to France, else they would continue their sit-in protests.
In a video message on Sunday (April 11), TLP leader Saad Hussain Rizvi urged his followers to protest and hit the roads against the government if demands are not fulfilled. This call for a countrywide protest led to his arrest at around 2 pm on Wahdat Road in Lahore. Following his arrest, a large mob of his supporters blocked the Grand Trunk Road at several junctions.
On April 16, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government took the decision to shut down social media websites and messaging applications like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter throughout Pakistan from 11 AM to 3 PM, according to Pakistani media sources. Meanwhile, the French embassy in Pakistan advised all French citizens and companies in the country to temporarily leave Pakistan which is staring at a violent civil war. This move comes in the wake of violent anti-France Islamist protests led by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) affecting several parts of the country.