Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi is a young religious and political leader and the current chief of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which was founded by Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a firebrand cleric.

Born in Attock, Allama Khadim was a controversial figure for being an extreme right-wing advocate for the defence of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) honour.

He received his religious education from Jamia Nizamia Rizvia, Bhati Gate, Lahore and later found employment in a mosque under the Oqaf Department at Fleming Road.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Pakistan (TLP) chief, Khadim Hussain Rizvi attends a rally in this undated photo. —X@QaziShaheerQadri
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Pakistan (TLP) chief, Khadim Hussain Rizvi attends a rally in this undated photo. —X@QaziShaheerQadri

Allama Khadim was known for his heavily accented, ardent religious speeches in Punjabi, and at times his fiery speeches put his job in jeopardy.

Besides his devotion to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Allama Khadim was also fond of Allama Iqbal’s poetry and philosophy.

Though the firebrand leader laid the foundation of TLP in 2015, he rose to prominence in 2017 when his party staged a major sit-in in Faizabad against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, demanding the toughest punishment to the blasphemers, accused of disrespecting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

TLP founder Khadim Rizvi (left) speaks at a press conference and Director General of Pakistan Rangers, Punjab, Maj Gen Azhar Naveed distributes cash among the TLP activists so that they can meet travel expenses to back to their homes.—The News/Online
TLP founder Khadim Rizvi (left) speaks at a press conference and Director General of Pakistan Rangers, Punjab, Maj Gen Azhar Naveed distributes cash among the TLP activists so that they can meet travel expenses to back to their homes.—The News/Online

The protests led to the resignation of then-law minister, Zahid Hamid, and a year later his party emerged as the country’s fifth-largest party in the 2018 general elections with 2.2 million votes, securing two seats from Karachi.

Upon his demise on November 19, 2020, Hafiz Saad, who is his eldest son, secured the leadership of the party.

Taking the party reins in his hands, Hafiz Saad also led a major sit-in at Lahore’s GT Road, which saw the deaths of several TLP workers and policemen in clashes, but the matter was settled through backdoor-channel negotiations with the government.

The 30-year-old was married to his cousin in 2022 and is a father of a daughter. Unlike his father, whose strategy was a bit harsher, Saad has adopted a comparatively moderate policy, during the last two years.

TLP chief Saad Rizvi waves to supporters at a commemoration ceremony held to mark his father Khadim Hussain Rizvis death anniversary in Lahore. —AFP
TLP chief Saad Rizvi waves to supporters at a commemoration ceremony held to mark his father Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s death anniversary in Lahore. —AFP

Especially since the TLP’s anti-inflation march from Karachi to Islamabad, moderation became a prominent element in Saad’s way of politics.

Like every other political party, the TLP also presented a manifesto for the upcoming elections at the start of the last month, which stresses on introduction of an Islamic system, abolition of the interest-based economic system, and rights of women and minorities are key points.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan chief Hafiz Saad Rizvi speaks at a public gathering.—Arif Ali / White Star
Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan chief Hafiz Saad Rizvi speaks at a public gathering.—Arif Ali / White Star

The TLP under Hafiz Saad claims to be the third largest party in the country, which has fielded its candidates on the country’s 713 out of 859 seats for the February 8 general elections.

These include 226 NA seats, 295 Punjab assembly seats, 120 Sindh assembly seats, 50 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa seats and 20 Balochistan assembly seats, and the candidates will contest with the electoral symbol of ‘crane’.

Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi (C), son of late Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the founder of TLP, waves as he arrives outside court in Lahore on July 2, 2021.—AFP
Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi (C), son of late Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the founder of TLP, waves as he arrives outside court in Lahore on July 2, 2021.—AFP

Hafiz Saad is contending for NA-50 Attock-II and NA 160 Bahawalnagar 1. He hopes that his party will claim a majority of seats and play a role in the country’s development and welfare.

It must be noted that the TLP has the support of all sects and factions of Islam.


The writer is a Geo News correspondent based in Lahore.


— Header and thumbnail design by IMM Creative





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