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 Lahore, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. His body was being transported to his residence.
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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.
Pir Aijaz Ashrafi, a senior leader of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA), in a statement said the timings of his funeral prayers will be announced later.
His death was also confirmed by Dr Asif Ashraf Jalali, the head of TLYRA.
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.
Prime Minister Imran Khan offered condolences on his demise.