Govt submits Faizabad sit-in report after IHC warns of contempt


ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Tuesday submitted to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) the report of the committee probing changes in the Finality of Prophethood (PBUH) oath in the Constitution, after the court gave the government “a last chance” to do so earlier in the day.

The Zafarul Haq-led committee was formed to probe the issue of the amendment in the oath regarding the Finality of Prophethood (PBUH) when the Elections Act 2017 was passed last year.

During the hearing, the IHC warned that it will issue contempt of court notices to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and three federal ministers if the report is not presented in court until 1pm.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said that “in case of non-compliance, the court would  issue contempt notices to all the delinquents and the prime minister would be called in person”.

“Let the heaven fall, there is nothing important than this issue,” said Justice Siddiqui

At the last hearing, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui while hearing the case expressed annoyance over the concerned quarters for not providing the report.

Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Arshad Kiyani maintained that the report was not presented before the court as it was yet to be finalised. IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui remarked that how is it possible that the report is not finalised even after the signature of Raja Zafarul Haq.

Justice Siddiqui remarked, “I fail to understand that why the order passed by this court is being frustrated by avoiding submission of the report of the committee headed by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, with Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan as its members.”

“Do you want us to demand the record directly from the National Assembly speaker and Senate chairman,” Justice Siddiqui had said. “Don’t play hide and seek with the court.”

Earlier, IHC declared the agreement between the government and Faizabad protesters unconstitutional and illegal, saying that the protesters committed blasphemy and the state surrendered before them.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, while hearing the case petitioned by ordinary citizens and the religious group, observed that the agreement doesn’t have any legal standing.

On November 6, workers of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) and activists of other religious groups camped at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad against the hastily-abandoned change in the oath of elected representatives, virtually paralysing the twin cities for more than two weeks.

Police and Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel had launched an operation against the protesters after the high court had ordered the clearance of the bridge that connects the federal capital with Rawalpindi. The same day, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had advised Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to “handle the Islamabad dharna peacefully”.