News of Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Hafiz Saad Hussain Rizvi’s release from jail on Thursday has created a great divide on Twitter. Some on the microblogging site are celebrating the freedom of the controversial figure, while others are concerned and worried about what it means for Pakistan.
The TLP chief was arrested by the police on April 12 ahead of planned protests by the TLP. A first information report (FIR) was registered against Rizvi under sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (ATA).
Rizvi was detained in the Kot Lakhpat jail in Lahore. He was released after a reference filed in the Supreme Court’s federal review board for his detention was withdrawn.
The news of his release broke on the internet along with videos of his welcome. A large number of people gathered at the Rehmatul Lil Alameen Mosque to greet him.
One user shared a video where an individual can be seen distributing sweets to students inside a classroom to celebrate Rizvi’s release. The clip, which is inaudible and has not been independently verified, shows students taking the sweets upon being informed that it was to celebrate the TLP leader's release..
Others show the vehicle carrying Rizvi showered with rose petals and mobbed, with crackers also set off.
This user congratulated the “entire Muslim ummah.”
However, there were quite a few detractors as well, with several users on Pakistnai Twitter expressed concern over what Rizvi’s release could mean for the country.
Former lawmaker and MQM-London leader Kunwar Khalid Yunus resorted to the Urdu iteration of the 'might is right' aphorism.
An account with the handle Kharab Aurat took a dig at the state's policies vis-à-vis Pashtoon activists and politicians, accusing it of discrimination - with many others pointing it out as well.
Some made tongue-in-cheek comparisons that might appear unflattering to one or both involved.
There were quite a few who seemed disappointed with the decision but used sarcasm instead of anger.
What do you think of TLP chief Saad Rizvi's release?