Home News Analysis Faizabad sit-in report submitted to IHC; contents remain a mystery

Faizabad sit-in report submitted to IHC; contents remain a mystery

Faizabad

 

News Desk |

The government has finally submitted the Raja Zafarul Haq report regarding the Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause in the Elections Act 2017 to the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The report was submitted during the hearing of the Faizabad sit-in case in the IHC on Tuesday. During the start of the hearing, the Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Arshad Mehmood Kayani excused himself from presenting the report stating that the report was not finalised so it could not be presented before the court.

Justice Shaukat Siddiqui was vexed over the DAG’s excuse and told him to present the report before 1pm otherwise IHC will issue contempt of court notices to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and three federal ministers. “Let the heaven fall, there is nothing [more] important than this issue,” said Justice Siddiqui. The DAG later submitted the report to the IHC in a sealed envelope. The court ordered the envelope to remain sealed and ordered daily proceedings of the case from 21st February.

Read more: Faizabad agreement deemed unconstitutional by Islamabad High Court

The government then had to invoke Article 245 of the constitution and call the military for help. The military refused to use force against the protesters. Later the Law Minister Zahid Hamid had to resign to end the twenty-two day long sit-in. The role of the military and the failure of the government to control the protestors placed a big question mark on the whole Faizabad saga.

The Supreme Court (SC) took suo moto notice of the sit-in as the protestors openly cursed the SC and challenged the writ of the state. The deal signed between the military and the protestors was also severely criticized for its totally one sided nature, the protestors were given a free ticket even though they vandalized property in the capital, disturbed public peace for three weeks and blocked the main artery to Islamabad.

Some political experts have reported that PML-N might have made the amendment to seek the support of foreign powers and present themselves as the champions of the minorities, which cannot be further from the truth.

The IHC is not probing into the details of the sit-in anymore since the SC is also looking into it, IHC will only deal with the Khatam-e-Nabuwat issue now. It appears to be a major U-turn since Justice Siddiqui was incensed over the abused hurled at the judiciary by the protestors in Faizabad’s sit-in and had demanded a report from the Director General of Intelligence Bureau. It might be on the orders of the SC that they will probe the case themselves.

The government went to great lengths to avoid the publication of the Zafarul Haq committee report. Protestors in Faizabad were also demanding the report to be made public. TLY held several rallies even after the Faizabad sit-in to reiterate their demands. While the government reluctantly parted with its law minister, they would not part with the report. IHC had to give several threats and intimidate the government with contempt charges into finally releasing the report.

Read more: Were the protestors in Faizabad peaceful?

The contents of the report remain a mystery since the IHC did not open the envelope even after receiving it. Some media circles suspect that the contents might never be made public owing to the steaks at hand. Changes were made in the Elections Act 2017 to enable the deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif into becoming the chief of PML-N again but the exclusion of the Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause from the oath statement of parliamentarians facilitated him in no way.

The IHC is not probing into the details of the sit-in anymore since the SC is also looking into it, IHC will only deal with the Khatam-e-Nabuwat issue now. It appears to be a major U-turn since Justice Siddiqui was incensed over the abused hurled at the judiciary by the protestors in Faizabad’s sit-in and had demanded a report from the Director General of Intelligence Bureau. It might be on the orders of the SC that they will probe the case themselves.

The government went to great lengths to avoid the publication of the Zafarul Haq committee report. Protestors in Faizabad were also demanding the report to be made public. TLY held several rallies even after the Faizabad sit-in to reiterate their demands. While the government reluctantly parted with its law minister, they would not part with the report. IHC had to give several threats and intimidate the government with contempt charges into finally releasing the report.

Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLY) supporters took to the streets and blocked the Faizabad interchange on 6th November after the government failed to meet their demands. 

The contents of the report remain a mystery since the IHC did not open the envelope even after receiving it. Some media circles suspect that the contents might never be made public owing to the steaks at hand. Changes were made in the Elections Act 2017 to enable the deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif into becoming the chief of PML-N again but the exclusion of the Khatam-e-Nabuwat clause from the oath statement of parliamentarians facilitated him in no way.

There have been speculations among the media and the public circles that the amendment was added to please certain foreign entities. The removal of the clause wouldn’t have made any difference since the Constitution of Pakistan already defines a Muslim and the amendment would have only served the purpose of certain groups. Some political experts have reported that PML-N might have made the amendment to seek the support of foreign powers and present themselves as the champions of the minorities, which cannot be further from the truth.


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