Sit-in at Faizabad: IHC issues show cause notice to respondents


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ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court on Monday issued show cause notice to Secretary Interior, Chief Commissioner and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad with regard to compliance of its order to call off sit-in here at Faizabad interchange.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui while issuing show cause notice to the respondents sought their reply that why a contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them, as they failed to comply with the court order in connection with the sit-in of religious groups at Faizabad interchange.

During the course of proceedings, Federal Minister for Interior, Ahsan Iqbal appeared before the court and categorically stated that maintaining law and order and to ensure protection of citizen’s rights was responsibility of the government and it had the intent to fulfill the same.

He submitted that order passed by the court was with reference to applicability and enforcement of law had been made to implement the same, but for the fact the issue was very sensitive and there were genuine apprehension of District Administration that the sit-in protestors might resist against the lawful efforts of the administration with some hostility and arms.

Therefore, a number of efforts had been made to settle and sort out the issue, but unfortunately no effort of the settlement had proved successful.

He hoped the government would be successful in dialogue with the protestors and find an amicable and peaceful solution to the matter, as he did not want any mishandling in that regard, the minister added.

He apprised the court that being a sensitive matter, the government was showing patience towards protestors
as it did not want any mishandling in that regard.

The minister stated that the writ of the state would be enforced and rights of the citizens of twin cities would be fully protected and restored. The matter should be resolved in a couple of days, he said and sought 48 hours from the court for the purpose.

The bench observed that it was a very serious situation that despite request to the leadership of the sit-in and direction to the district administration, no progress had been shown except negotiation.

Justice Siddiqui remarked that the district administration found itself in the arena of uncertainty, therefore no material effort was made.

“IHC, being custodian of the rights of citizens dwelling within Islamabad Capital Territory, could not leave them at the mercy of those who siege the city at a place which was of most strategic in nature,” he added.

Justice Siddiqui remarked, “It was beyond the comprehension that how any person or group whosoever can be allowed to frustrate an order passed by the Constitutional Court and at their own extended date of its orders implementation. This really was an effort to undermine the authority of court, which cannot be taken lightly”.

Subsequently the court issued show cause notice to the respondents and adjourned further hearing of the
case till November 23.

Later, talking to the media outside the court premises, Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal said the government had sought 48 hours to resolve the sit-in issue lingering for the last two weeks by a religious group through peaceful means.

The minister said the country could no longer afford such situation any longer as its enemies were using the issue to defame it globally. The main objective of the country’s enemies was to destabilize it, he added.

“We request the protestors to end the as they have registered their protest. Parliament has already made finality of Prophethood law foolproof and strong,” he said.—APP