LAHORE: The detained leader of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) Pir Afzal Qadri has tendered an apology to the government of Pakistan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the judiciary for his provocative statements following the Supreme Court decision to acquit Christian woman Asia Bibi in a high-profile blasphemy case.
“I made provocative remarks feeling disheartened and depressed by the apex court decision in the blasphemy case. I am extremely regretful over this incitefulbehaviour towards the government, judiciary and the chief of army staff,” Qadri said in a video statement, while also announcing his retirement from the active politics.
“I had decided last year to bid farewell to the politics due to poor health. Now, I am announcing my retirement from active politics,” he said in his statement.
Qadri maintained that the TLP was founded as a patriotic, non-violent and peaceful political party with an aim to promote Islamic teachings, protect the finality of Prophethood, and work for people’s rights enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan.
“The TLP made a strike call in October 2018 to register its protest against acquittal of Asia Bibi in blasphemy case. Roads were blocked in several cities due to which people had to face immense difficulties.
Addressing the sit-in demonstrations, I used hard language against government as well as political leaders. However, later a written agreement was reached with the provincial as well as federal government and the protest was called off,” he recalled. “On November 25 last year, the TLP again made a call for strike in Rawalpindi.
The government representatives approached the party to persuade it to take back the call over sensitive security situation of the country, however the TLP refused to budge, which lead to arrest of scores of party workers and the leadership by the government,” Qadri narrated, as he also distanced the TLP from the Bahawalpur incident wherein a college teacher was stabbed to death by his student allegedly affiliated with the party.
In his statement, the TLP leader pledged that the party leadership will play its role to correct the situation and work for reformation of the society. “We will respect the constitution, laws and institutions of Pakistan and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan Army for defence of the motherland. We will play our part for promotion of peace and stability in the country,” Qadri said.
“We will present our point of view in a responsible manner under the laws of the land and in the light of teachings of Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Nobody will be allowed to damage public property in the name of protest, and terrorism, extremism and sectarianism will be countered with full force,” the TLP leader stated, and advised the party activists to display the best moral attitude.
“If any TLP worker is found involved in illegal and un-Islamic activities, disciplinary action will be taken and he will be expelled from the party,” he warned, adding that that any Bahawalpur-type incident can never be supported.