ICMD, Nov 23, 2018

Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi has been taken into "protective custody" by police from Lahore, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced late on Friday night.

"Khadim Hussain Rizvi has been taken into protective custody by police and shifted to a guest house," the minister said in a tweet.

"The action was prompted by TLP's refusal to withdraw its call for protest on November 25. It’s to safeguard public life, property and order."

The arrest "has to do nothing with Asia Bibi case", Chaudhry said. He said the TLP had insisted on coming to Rawalpindi "refusing [the government's] proposal for alternative arrangements".

"The TLP has become a continuous threat to the life and properties of the citizens and is doing politics under the guise of religion... the situation is fully under control, people should remain peaceful and fully cooperate with authorities," he said in a tweet in Urdu.

The minister said the government "did it[s] best" to convince the party against convening for the protest, "but they refused every offer and started to provoke violence".

"State is responsible to defend finality and respect of Holy Prophet PBUH. Law shall take its course and it cannot be left to individuals," Chaudhry concluded.

The crackdown comes ahead of Rizvi's call to party members to observe martyrs’ day on November 25. He had asked workers and supporters to gather at Faizabad in the federal capital.