The Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) Islamist political party is calling for mass protests to take place nationwide on Friday, October 12, amid the final stages of a high-profile blasphemy case. Protests are expected to be well attended in TLP strongholds, which include the capital Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. A heightened security presence is expected near all demonstration sites and localized unrest and traffic disruption cannot be ruled out. Supporters are called to gather after prayers, between 14:30 and 18:00 (local time). The main protest marches are the following:
- Islamabad: National Press Club to Aabpara Chowk, passing through the upscale "Blue Area", where many government and commercial activities are concentrated
- Lahore: Data Darbar Shrine to the Punjab Assembly
- Karachi: Numaish Chowrangi to the Local Press Club
A Christian Pakistani woman, Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death in 2010, appealed to the Supreme Court on October 8. A judgment has been reached and will be made public at an unspecified date. On a related note, the High Court is also expected to render a decision on October 12 as to whether or not Bibi can be put on a no-fly list.
TLP was founded in 2015 and has increasingly been gaining popular support, as demonstrated by the results of the July 2018 general elections. Protests held by TLP in 2017 demanding the stricter enforcement of blasphemy laws led to a blockade on the capital Islamabad, which lasted for three weeks and resulted in the resignation of the federal law minister.
Individuals in Pakistan are advised to monitor developments, avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and refrain from discussing sensitive religious and political topics in public.
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