ISI’s failure to submit Faizabad sit-in report draws SC’s ire


–Court asks spy agency if it was incognisant of TLP leaders’ source of income

–Justice Isa says some forces consider themselves ‘above the law’


ISLAMABAD: Justice Qazi Faez Isa of the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday lashed out at the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for failing to produce a new report on last year’s Faizabad sit-in protest by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other religious outfits.

A two-member SC bench comprising Justice Isa and Justice Musheer Alam has been hearing a suo motu case regarding the use of abusive language during the sit-in and the difficulties caused to residents of the capital by the roadblocks placed by the agitators.

The government and protesters, after a weeks-long protest at the Faizabad interchange, reached an army-brokered agreement in November 2017, in which the former had conceded to the latter’s demands.

Justice Isa asked the attorney general on Wednesday if the ISI had a report to submit.

The attorney general told the bench that no such report has been furnished because the court had not passed any orders in this regard. To this, Justice Isa said that the ISI should have submitted a new report when the court had expressed its dissatisfaction over the previous report on the same issue.

Last month, the SC had rejected ISI’s report on the Faizabad sit-in, calling it “unsatisfactory”. “This report is deeply unsettling: it has been prepared by one of the premier agencies of the country, yet a journalist could have given more details [about the protests] than this report,” Justice Isa had said after reviewing the document.

During Wednesday’s hearing, the bench inquired if the agency was incognisant of TLP leaders’ source of income.

“Why should we not assume that an enemy country is financing them?” asked Justice Isa. Justice Alam also questioned if an audit had been conducted.

Justice Isa wondered if some forces in the nation considered themselves above the law since they failed to present reports before the court. “Tell us how the country is being functioning. Enough is enough,” he said.

In his remarks, the judge observed that the country had already been dismembered once. “How many parts will it be further divided into?” he said. Justice Isa said the elephant in the room remained unacknowledged.

The court will resume hearing the case after 10 days.


Separately, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has remarked that the masses have been mentally, economically and morally enslaved.

The judge made the remarks while hearing a petition seeking the report on the Faizabad sit-in to be made public.

The counsel for the petitioner said the registrar office had declined the acquisition request for the report on last year’s sit-in at Faizabad interchange that crippled the twin cities for over two weeks.

During the court proceedings, Justice Siddiqui told the petitioner the report had been sealed on court directives. Saying that least six references had already been filed against him, Justice Siddiqui remarked in a lighter vein if the applicant wanted another filed.

The judge said a reply would be sought from the defence ministry on the matter.


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