Supreme Court takes notice of Faizabad sit-in, orders govt to file response

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday took notice of the Faizabad sit-in which has paralysed the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad for over two weeks, and demanded replies from the government officials concerned.

The court took notice of this during the hearing of a separate case, when a lawyer informed Justice Mushir Alam, of the hurdles he faced during the preparation of the case as the capital came to a standstill due to the sit-in.

The SC sent summons to Inspector General of Punjab Police, Inspector General Islamabad and Attorney General of Pakistan on Thursday, Nov 23. The court also sent notices to the secretaries of the interior and defence ministries, inspectors general of Punjab and Islamabad and the attorney general.

Justice Isa also directed a detailed report on the measures undertaken by the government to protect the rights of the public. The hearing has been adjourned until Thursday.

As the sit-in of the Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) at Faizabad Interchange continued on Tuesday, talks between the government and protest leaders over the demand for resignation of Federal Minister for Law Zahid Hamid are deadlocked, with Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal seeking extension in the deadline from the Islamabad High Court for evicting the protesters.

Daily life in the capital has been paralysed for over two weeks now due to the protest of an alliance of religious parties, including the Tehreek-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST), calling for the sacking of Zahid Hamid and stern action against those behind the amendment to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat clause ─ which had earlier been deemed a “clerical error” and subsequently rectified.

The religious parties have been protesting against the change in the finality of Prophethood oath in the law when the government passed the Elections Act 2017 last month. The change, dubbed a clerical error by the government, was immediately fixed as an amendment was passed later.

The protesters have been occupying the Faizabad Interchange which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road – the busiest roads in the twin cities.

The protest by religious parties that has brought the capital to a standstill entered its 16th day on Tuesday after various rounds of talks between the government and protesters ended in a stalemate.

Talks held on Saturday and then on Monday failed with no breakthrough in sight as protest leaders continue to demand the resignation of the federal minister for law.

The government, however, has formed another committee under senior cleric Pir Hussainuddin for negotiations with the protesters and to suggest a comprehensive solution to the problem.

Following a meeting of government representatives and protest leaders on Monday, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal again expressed hope for a peaceful resolution of the issue.

“We all agree that this issue should be resolved as soon as possible in a peaceful manner. Pakistan cannot be affected by any kind of bloodletting,” said the interior minister.

The meeting, after its conclusion also issued a joint statement, which stated that there is absolutely no room for error in the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat clause and a committee, formed with PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq in the chair, will identify those responsible for the mistake and the change in the oath.

Iqbal further said that the committee formed under Haq will expedite the report and present it once completed

He added that Khatm-e-Nabuwwat is the basis of Islam and the wish of the government is to resolve the issue “in hours, not days’.

“For the sake of the Ummah, the religion, and the country, we have to peacefully resolve the sit-in.”

On Sunday, the interior minister had said that all options are available for dispersing the Islamabad protest, adding that a security operation is the last option as the government will try to avoid bloodshed.

The Islamabad High Court had given the government until 10am, Nov 18 to remove the protesters blocking the Faizabad Interchange ‘with force if need be’ but the government did not do so and instead opted for negotiations to find a peaceful way out.

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. NO to finish protest till Government bring the responsible to public.
    This problem is purely manufactured by Government, there was no issue politicians has created the issue.
    No compromise on Prophet Mohammad respect.

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