Pakistani cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi dies at 54

Days after signing an agreement with the Pakistan government and calling off a sit-in of his party supporters that had blocked an important junction between Islamabad and Rawalpindi, the chief of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, died in Lahore. He was 54.

The cause of the Pakistani cleric’s death was not known. Some media reports hinted that he had symptoms similar to that of Covid-19, although that couldn’t be verified.

TLP supporters had crippled parts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi last week when they held a sit-in to demand the expulsion of the French ambassador to Pakistan and the recall of his Pakistani counterpart in Paris.

The sit-in was called off after Rizvi and ministers from the Imran Khan administration signed an understanding that took note of their demands.

However on Thursday, Rizvi was taken ill and died soon after. According to the party’s spokesperson Muhammad Hamza, the TLP chief had been experiencing difficulty in breathing and was running a fever since Wednesday.

The spokesperson added that Rizvi was at his madrasa on Multan Road when his condition deteriorated on Thursday evening. He was subsequently rushed to Farooq Hospital in Iqbal town, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. He was later taken to Sheikh Zayed hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

There was some confusion over his death after some reports on social media suggested that Rizvi had resumed breathing and had only been unconscious for a while.

A party spokesman confirmed this, but added that soon after, the TLP leader had stopped breathing and was declared dead.

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