Evaluation Of Tehreek-E-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) In The Context Of Elitism

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Kashif Ijaz , Dr. Asia Saif Alvi


This article explores the intricate relationship between Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and the concept of elitism. Historically, Muslim societies had powerful religious elite. The rise of religious political parties in the subcontinent followed the first political mobilization of Indian Muslims by the religious leadership during World War One. The Ulema got involved in politics when they started agitation against the British who governed the Muslim world and subcontinent. The religious elites have a tremendous role in the political history of Pakistan particularly on Khatm-e-Nabuwat and the Blasphemy issues. The cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi founded TLP on the basis of these two aspects and mobilized Barelvis. Ultimately, a new and aggressive religious political party performed exceptionally well in the general election of 2018. The traits of elitism created a significant impact in the formation of TLP and the role of religious elite made this party so potent that it received 2.2 million votes or 4.22 percent for the National Assembly. TLP secured 43% of the religious votes which made it the fifth largest party in the country. For instance, TLP moved up to become the third largest party in Punjab behind the PTI and PML-N after receiving 1.8 million votes or around 5.7%, and 70% of all votes cast for religious parties. It was successful by garnering 0.4 million votes or 37% of the votes cast for religious parties in Sindh. However, it only managed to obtain two seats in the Sindh provincial assembly and none in the National assembly. The performance of TLP in KP and Balochistan was not so impressive. The evaluation of TLP in the perspective of elitism would help to understand the role of religious elites in the politics of Pakistan. 

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