Pakistan braces for Islamists protests over 'poll rigging'

07:07 PM | 6 Aug, 2018
Pakistan braces for Islamists protests over 'poll rigging'
LAHORE - Thousands of Tehreek-e-Labbaaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) supporters marched on Monday in a protest against alleged rigging in last month's general elections.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a firebrand cleric who claims to be the champion of blasphemy rights, is leading the main demonstration at the shrine of Sufi saint Usman Ali Hajveri, popular as Data Sahib, in Lahore, Punjab, from where the protesters will march towards Punjab Assembly.

Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP), the political front of TLYR, emerged as the fifth largest political party in the country, with at least 2,234,265 people voting for its candidates across the country in July 25 polls.

The religio-political party with far-right inclinations was unable to bag any NA seats but did manage to win two provincial assembly seats in its first-ever General Election.

Although the party's candidates finished as runner-ups with hefty numbers in several constituencies, especially in Karachi, its leaders claim they "have been defeated through rigging in elections".

TLP first appeared on the national scene in November 2017 when it staged a sit-in at Islamabad's Faizabad Interchange against changes made in the Elections Bill 2017. The sit-in sparked similar protests in other parts of the country.

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TLP has also announced to hold a protest in Karachi on August 12, with a warning of sit-in or a long march "if our demands are not".

This is a developing story and will updated soon.