Islamabad protest continues as govt fails to break stalemate
ISLAMABAD: The stalemate in the talks between the government and protesters continues as hundreds of activists and supporters of Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah remained camped out at the Faizabad Interchange for the 17th consecutive day.
With the Islamabad High Court’s deadline for evicting the protesters from the busy artery of the capital expiring tomorrow, the government faces an uphill task of finding a peaceful end to the sit-in.
The protesters have blocked the Faizabad Interchange, which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad, multiplying hardships of the people of the twin cities.
The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the sit-in that has paralyzed life in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad for the last two weeks.
The top court has summoned a detailed report from the defense and interior secretaries on the matter. They have been asked to explain the steps being taken to ensure fundamental rights of citizens.
It also issued notices to the Attorney General and the police chiefs of Islamabad and Punjab police to submit their response until Thursday.
A two-judge bench comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa took notice of the sit-in on the request of a lawyer.
Justice Isa observed that the protesters violated the Article 14, 15 and 19 of the country’s constitution, which related to fundamental right of citizens to freedom of movement.
He remarked that which Islam allowed blockade of roads and use f abusive language.
On Monday, the government convened a meeting of leading scholars belong to the various schools of thought in a bid to find a negotiated end to the protest, which has kept the capital on tenterhooks
A committee constituted to propose a comprehensive solution to the sit-in is yet to come up with its suggestions.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday granted two days’ time to the administration to clear the Faizabad Interchange of the protesters.
Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah has been protesting for a fortnight, demanding action against those responsible for making a now-withdrawn amendment to the clause pertaining to the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath for electoral candidates and the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
The National Assembly last Thursday passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017, restoring the clause about the finality of Prophet-hood to its original form.