Khadim Hussain Rizvi passes away in Lahore

Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi has died in Lahore at the age of 54, his political party confirmed on Thursday night.

The cause of his demise wasn't immediately clear.

According to the party’s spokesperson, Hamza, the TLP chief had been experiencing difficulty in breathing and was running a fever since yesterday.

The spokesperson added that Rizvi was at his madressah on Multan Road when his condition deteriorated on Thursday evening. He was subsequently rushed to the Farooq Hospital in Iqbal Town, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Rizvi was later taken to Sheikh Zayed Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead, said Saad Rizvi, son of Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

Some time later, social media was abuzz with reports that Rizvi was still alive and had only been unconscious for a while.

When contacted to verify the reports, another TLP spokesperson, Ibn-e-Ismail, said that Rizvi had started breathing again and they had summoned an ambulance, but the paramedic staff pronounced him dead when they checked him.

A large number of TLP supporters started gathering at his residence in the Grand Battery Stop area on Multan Road.

Rizvi's funeral prayers will be offered at the Minar-i-Pakistan at 11am on Saturday (tomorrow).

He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

The firebrand cleric made his last public appearance at a sit-in staged by thousands of TLP followers at Islamabad's Faizabad interchange to protest the publication of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in France.

The group had decided to end the sit-in on Monday after successful negotiations with the government.