Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi died in Lahore at the age of 54. The cause of his death wasn’t immediately clear. The head of another TLP faction Asif Jalali confirmed his death
According to the party’s spokesperson, Hamza, the TLP chief had been experiencing difficulty in breathing and was running a fever since yesterday.
The spokesperson added that Rizvi was at his madressah on Multan Road when his condition deteriorated on Thursday evening. He was subsequently rushed to the Farooq Hospital in Lahore, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body was being transported to his residence.
Pir Aijaz Ashrafi, a senior leader of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA), in a statement said the timings of his funeral prayers will be announced later.
Born in 1966 in the Pindi Gheb area of Attock district, Punjab, Rizvi was said to be an introvert who shied away from talking about his personal life even among his close circles, let alone with media personnel. A Hafiz-e-Quran and Sheikh-ul-Hadith, Rizvi used to deliver Friday sermons at Lahore’s Pir Makki Masjid, located near Daata Darbar, during his time in the Punjab Auqaf Department.
Rizvi had been confined to a wheelchair since 2006 ever since an accident near Gujranwala. Contrary to rumours, Rizvi was injured because the driver of his vehicle fell asleep while driving from Rawalpindi to Lahore.
Many mistook him as a Shia because of his last name, but in truth, he was a staunch follower of Imam Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, the 19th-century founder of the Barelvi sect.
The firebrand cleric made his last public appearance at a sit-in staged by thousands of TLP followers at Islamabad’s Faizabad interchange to protest the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in France.
“We are not emotional or fanatics. People who bombed Syria and hanged Saddam Hussein on Eid are fanatics. We are only talking about the honour of our Prophet. Whenever you talk about Islam your tongues slip. People need to keep control over their tongues,” Rizvi said in the course of a speech in Karachi last week.