Pakistan (MNN) — A militant Sunni sect in Pakistan, known as TLP, has struck a deal with the Pakistani government after days of protests. Thousands marched 240 miles from Islamabad to Lahore, starting October 21. Things turned violent last week, leaving several police officers and TLP members dead.
The government hasn’t yet revealed the details of the deal. But the TLP continues to exert great influence over the government. Nehemiah with FMI says, “They have become the third-largest political party in Punjab, and the fifth-largest party in the country. They have become very, very popular across Pakistan.”
Nehemiah says these protests have paralyzed Pakistan, clogging up highways and streets. “The TLP has demanded that the government expel the French ambassador, endorse a boycott of French products, and, most importantly, impose strict Sharia law in Pakistan.”
The TLP has protested France due to cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed published by a French satirical magazine. Now, the French embassy has warned French people and businesses in Pakistan to leave.
Nehemiah says the TLP started in 2015, but its popularity soared in 2018 as many expressed displeasure over the Pakistani Supreme Court’s acquittal of Asia Bibi. Read more about that here.
Nehemiah says the TLP also believes Christians should not live in Pakistan. “This is a hardcore Islamist organization. One of their core ideologies is to protect Pakistan’s blasphemy law. And when we talk about the blasphemy laws, we can’t forget Christians in Pakistan. Because they are the ones highly targeted by this law. That is the reason many Christians are leaving Pakistan.”
Pray for the safety of Pakistani Christians, including FMI partners. Ask God to turn TLP members away from violence and towards the Prince of Peace.
The header photo shows the TLP flag. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)