RAWALPINDI -  Giving a call for a country-wide shutter down strike for Monday, Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi on Sunday announced that he and his other companions would contest the next general election and clinch a thumping victory.

Holding Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former premier Nawaz Sharif, Interior Ahsan Iqbal, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah responsible for the police “barbarianism” against innocent activists of the TLYR staging a sit-in at Faizabad, he while addressing a press conference at Faizabad Interchange on Sunday demanded that cases should be registered against the PML-N leaders under charges of terrorism, murder and attempt to murder.

Allama Rizvi along with hundreds of other activists has been staging the sit-in for last 21 days seeking the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid for the alleged tampering in the Khatam-e-Nabuwat (PBUH) declaration form for electoral candidates.

Allama Rizvi, who was flanked by Pir Muhammad Afzal Qadri and other religious leaders, said that the “bloody” operation against the TLYR activists has not wavered their courage and he and his companions would not move back an inch without taking the resignation of the law minister.

Allama Rizvi also said that the TLYR was ready for talks with the government to resolve the lingering issue of the resignation of Hamid despite the fact that the government used brutal force against the TLYR protesters.  “As many as 8,500 tear gas shells, rubber bullets and bullets were fired by law enforcement agencies on innocent protesters of the TLYR ,” he said. Allama Rizvi said that he never demanded the resignation of the whole cabinet and rather wanted to kick Hamid of the parliament. “We will only pack up from Faizabad after the law minister tenders his resignation,” he said as an afterthought.

He said that the PML-N leadership including PM Abbasi had ordered the police and paramilitary forces to disperse the protesters through the use of force which was “the worst kind of terrorism”.

“We have sacks filled with dead tear gas shells and rubber bullets fired by the police,” he said.  He said that the prime minister has no reasons to continue as the premiership as he had not fired the federal law minister. “We are not staging the sit-in to bring down a democratically-elected government rather we are asking the government to reveal the names of the people involved in tampering with the Khatam-e-Nabuwat (PBUH) declaration,” the TLYR chief said. He said that he had not yet decided to call off the sit-in. He said that if the government and others criticized him for road closures, he reserved the right to ask as what kind of Islam it was according to which the government killed TLYR activists.

On the other hand, the overall situation in Rawalpindi remained peaceful on Sunday after the city remained on the edge after police action against TLYR activists camping up at the Faizabad Interchange.

While blocking the main entrance of Islamabad for 21 executive days, TLYR leaders kept spewing venom against the government, judges and the media.

A large number of locals kept visiting the sit-in at Faizabad as Murree Road was opened to traffic and the general public. No deployment of police had been made, however, a batch of Rangers was performing duty at Shamasabad. The district administration had so far not removed the burnt prison vans and mobile vans of the police.

Meanwhile, plazas, shopping malls, and markets remained closed surrounding Faizabad. Nonetheless, the situation remained normal in Saddar, Waris Khan, Committee Chowk, Chandni Chowk and other areas. The metro bus service remained suspended and a thin public transport was seen plying roads causing problems for commuters. Rickshaw and taxi drivers fleeced the travelers.

Some TLYR protesters were seen collecting iron rods from the broken fence parting Murree Road near Faizabad. Many people kept taking selfies with mobile phones while standing near burnt police mobile and prison vans. The TLYR activists blocked GT Road for traffic at Gujar Khan.