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TLP starts building strong anti-PTI narrative

Far-right party might pose serious challenge to PTI in next polls as it did to PML-N in 2018

The hardline Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) has started building a strong anti-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) narrative, posing a serious challenge to the latter’s anti-US stance to build maximum public support before general elections.

The far-right organization has suddenly become so active against the former prime minister that it prompted PTI leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain to highlight the point: “How interesting (expletives) and [the] TLP tweeting against the Awami Revolution of [the] PTI,” tweeted the former information minister on Wednesday.

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TLP leaders and activists have been furiously targeting Imran Khan’s criticism of Washington, declaring him pro-west and a puppet of Europe and America.

“You [Imran Khan] are a hypocrite and a liar. You did not accept our demand for the removal of the French ambassador and now you are claiming that you are a true follower of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),” said TLP chief Saad Rizvi, while addressing party workers on Thursday.

The TLP caused a major blow to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in 2018 polls. Having thousands of votes in every National Assembly constituency of upper and central Punjab, the TLP has long been viewed as a party created by the powerful establishment to keep the balance in power politics.

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“If it played a role in the defeat of the PML-N in 2018, it is ready to limit the PTI in the next elections,” said a political science professor at the University of Punjab.

The TLP social media wing ran an online campaign – “Ehad Shikan Shakanjay Main” (unfaithful in trap) on Thursday.

Pictures of the injured TLP workers were being posted on social media sites, holding the former government responsible for the bloodshed during the party’s long march towards Islamabad in October 2021.

“History has shown that what Imam Khadim Hussain Rizvi said in Faizabad is coming true today. Whoever wronged Allah’s creatures is being humiliated,” tweeted TLP worker Qasim Rizvi.

“[The] PTI has become a security risk for the country. It should be stopped immediately; otherwise it will continue to spew venom against institutions,” another activist Rashid Khan chimed in.

In another tweet, he said that the PTI should be banned, and added, “The demand of the nation is to ban the PTI so that it does not disturb peace in Pakistan.”

TLP spokesperson Sadaam Hussain told Minute Mirror that the party would protect the constitution of Pakistan at all cost, saying the language being used against institutions in PTI rallies was unacceptable to the nation.

He claimed that the PTI was working on enemies’ agenda to weaken the country and its institutions.

In 2018, the TLP received more than 50,000 votes in different constituencies of Punjab, causing a big dent to the right-wing vote bank of the PML-N, according to observers.

It had then declared the Sharifs enemies of Islam for introducing the Election Reforms Amendment Bill, 2017. The then PML-N government had withdrawn changes in the bill after strong protests by the TLP and also removed the law minister.

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