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Supreme Court lashes out agencies for not presenting fresh report on Faizabad Dharna

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan heard 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 protestors of Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan (ST). Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who is part of a two-member SC bench, along with Justice Musheer Alam,  lashed out at security agencies for “failing to produce a new report” on last year’s Faizabad sit-in.

During the previous hearing the court had expressed its dissatisfaction over the report prepared by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Justice Isa asked the deputy attorney general on Wednesday that the agencies should have submitted a new report. Since no order was passed by the court in this regard so there is no new report, replied the deputy attorney general.

As a matter of fact, Pakistan is a religiously conservative society and any attempt to recklessly modify or alter the text of Khatm-i-Nabuwwat law would lead to a serious political turmoil in the country.

“Who is paying you? Who is paying the Inter-Services Intelligence? No one should consider themselves above the law,” Justice Isa said while addressing the deputy attorney general.

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He went on saying that “the army did not establish this country and the state will not be ruled on the whims and wishes of anyone.”Justice Isa further said that “read history to know how Pakistan was established; Quaid-i-Azam was not surrounded by a brigade but a leadership willing to create Pakistan.”

SC Rejected ISI’s report on the Faizabad sit-in:

Last month the same bench rejected a report prepared by the ISI. After review the report Justice Isa expressed his displeasure and said “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.”

ISI in its report has mentioned that the leaders of protestors Allama Khadim Rizvi had some political motives and was staging a rally before general elections to seek political support. Khadim Rizvi was also termed as a ‘financially corrupt’ and an ‘arrogant’ person in the report. Rizvi’s follower not only rejected the content of the court but also expressed their grave reservations.

An army-brokered agreement to end Faizabad Dharna:

Life in the federal capital was disrupted when the protestors of aforementioned parties occupied the Faizabad Interchange which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road.

The protestors believed that that during the passage of Elections Act 2017, the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath was deliberately modified as part of a larger conspiracy. The government on the other hand, insisted that it was just a ‘clerical error’ which was subsequently rectified through an Act of Parliament.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who is part of a two-member SC bench, along with Justice Musheer Alam,  lashed out at security agencies for “failing to produce a new report” on last year’s Faizabad sit-in.

Protestors primarily demanded the resignation of then-law minster Zahid Hamid. The government initially decided to negotiate with the protestors but each time failed. The Islamabad High Court also ordered the Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal to vacate the Faizabad Interchange.

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The government, however, ultimately initiated an operation against the protestors but within hours on the call of Khadim Rizvi protests erupted across the country.  Roads were blacked in all big cities of Pakistan and residences of a few politicians were also attacked by the protestors.

In that critical situation Pakistan army came in and played a role of ‘mediator’. Khadim Rizvi’s demands were considered and acknowledged by the government. Law minister tendered his resignation and protests were ended on the call of Khadim Rizvi.

Political commentators in Pakistan termed it a state surrender before a violent mob. Several articles were written against the protestors, the government and the army for assuming the role of a meditator. But as a matter of fact, Pakistan is a religiously conservative society and any attempt to recklessly modify or alter the text of Khatm-i-Nabuwwat law would lead to a serious political turmoil in the country. If army had not intervened and recused the government form a serious disaster the country would have experienced one of the worsts times of her political life.

However, agencies’ lethargic attitude in preparing a serious, genuine report of the matter and their failure to produce factual details of the incidents is a matter of serious consideration.

 


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