Pakistan

Court questions army’s role in govt agreement with Islamabad protesters

Islamabad

ISLAMABAD:  Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday took strong exception to the Army’s role as mediator in an agreement between the government and the protesters at the federal capital’s Faizabad Interchange, questioning under what law an army officer assumed the role of mediator?

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was referring to Major Gen Faiz Hameed, who is said to have mediated between the protesting religious groups and the government. The IHC bench was hearing the case against the blockade of the capital’s Faizabad Interchange.

Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal appeared before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for hearing in a case pertaining to the sit-in.

Initially, the minister failed to appear before the court, earning ire of Justice Siddiqui who ordered him to appear within 15 minutes.

Iqbal turned up in the court after half an hour. He informed the judge that the sit-in will end shortly as the government has reached an agreement with the protesters to bring the country out of critical situation.

The agreement was reached after a thorough consultative process involving all stakeholders, the minister added.

Justice Siddiqui questioned the administration why police action against the protesters failed. “You will forgive them after squandering billions of rupees of the public money, ” he added.

He took strong exception to the Army’s role as mediator in the agreement, questioning under what law an army officer assumed the role of mediator?

He was referring to Major Gen Faiz Hameed who is said to have mediated between the protesting religious parties and government.

The judge further asked where did the protesters get tear gas and masks from? He sought a report from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in this regard.

Earlier, the court had issued a show cause notice to federal minister to appear in person to explain why he had stopped the administration from acting upon its order and why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against him.

Justice Siddiqui censured Chief Commissioner Zulifqar Haider, saying under what authority he did not obey the court orders to clear the sit-in.

Haider submitted that interior ministry had stopped the administration from complying with the order of the court so that the government could find a solution through dialogue.

He stated that this was totally incorrect perception that the administration lacked authority and could not perform its duties to maintain law and order in the city.

Justice Siddiqui remarked how a federal minister could stop implementation on an order passed by a court.

He, thus issued show cause notices to the authorities to explain 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.

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Court questions army’s role in govt agreement with Islamabad protesters

by Web Desk