November 26th, 2020 

Bureau Report


Pir Afzal Qadri, a former patron-in-chief and founding leader of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, has opposed appointment of Saad Hussain Rizvi, son of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, as the movement’s chief,   casting doubts whether the movement could carry on in the footsteps of its late firebrand leader.

“Upon formation of the movement with Khadim Rizvi, we both had agreed its leadership’s succession would not be dynastic, said Qadri in a video clip where he is seen sitting inside a mosque while addressing his supporters. Usman Afzal Qadri, son of Pir Afzal Qadri, told that the father’s speech was made a couple of days ago.

In his address, Qadri claimed Saad Hussain Rizvi was unfit to be a leader of the movement founded by him saying Saad Hussain Rizvi was mentally unstable and was not even a Hafiz. He said as a founder he had the authority to appoint the successor. He said that Khadim Rizvi knew his son was incompetent and used to request him to pray for Saad, who he alleged was mentally unstable, an addict and had not even completed his education.

Qadri said he had offered the most sacrifices in setting up the movement, adding that he was nominated in over 100 cases and bank accounts of his madrassas are still frozen. Qadri said he would soon call a meeting of all the ulemas of the movement and appoint a new chief.

A TLP spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said the movement in principle decided not to make any statement on the address by Pir Afzal Qadri. However, he refuted claims made by Pir Afzal Qadri saying that the former founder had quit the movement publicly in 2019. The appointment of Saad Hussain Rizvi has been made by the 18-member consultation council (Majlis-e-Shura), adding that such appointments were an internal affair.

The TLP spokesperson said Saad Rizvi was a Hafiz as there are clips available depicting Khadim Rizvi distributing alms upon the occasion some 12 years ago. He said Saad Rizvi received his religious education from his father. The movement’s council had chosen Saad Rizvi not because of being Khadim Rizvi’s son but due to his better abilities and capability to lead the movement, he said. The spokesman said Saad Rizvi was a member of the consultation council and deputy secretary general in the lifetime of Khadim Rizvi.