IHC orders clearance of Faizabad Dharna in three days; Issues contempt notice to Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD: While issuing the contempt of court notice to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal over his failure to implement the court order, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday directed the district administration to clear Faizabad sit-in protest within three days.

Justice Shaukat Siddiqui while hearing the case expressed annoyance at the government’s inaction, saying flouting court order is tantamount to disrespecting it.

The court issued the notice while hearing two applications filed by residents about the disturbance caused by the protracted sit-in.

He asked under what authority did the interior minister stop action against the sit-in despite court order, in response to the Chief Commissioner’s comment that the government stopped the city administration from doing so that the dialogue with protestors are not interrupted.

It is unfathomable how an interior minister or even a prime minister can flout court orders, he said, adding that the action was an attempt to degrade the court.

When the district attorney general requested Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui to withdraw the show-cause notice, the judge responded: “Are you a servant of the interior minister or the federation?”

The interior secretary said that if the administration will opt for force there are high chances of bloodshed. He said that the government and administration are taking measures by taking into consideration the interests of the state.

“I can’t inform everything here right now, will submit a written statement in chamber,” he said. “the state will use force where it is needed”.

“The court is not ordering to fire straight at the protesters,” said the judge while directing the authorities to end the sit-in in next three days. The court has also summoned the authorities of intelligence agencies in next hearing.

The hearing has been adjourned until November 27. Justice Siddiqui directed the interior secretary to submit Raja Zafarul Haq’s report before the court in next hearing.

The judge directed that if a person has been named in the committee’s report as being responsible for the change in the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat declaration, their name should be put on the Exit Control List.

He assured the respondents that the name in reports will not be made public. The court has also summoned DG IB, and ISI’s sector commander in the next case hearing.

He added that it is the responsibility of institutions to dilute the perception that agencies are behind the sit-in.

Meanwhile the authorities have further strengthened security around Faizabad by placing more containers. Heavy contingent of Rangers, Frontier Corps and police are deployed in Faizabad whereas armored vehicles, prison vans and ambulances are also present.

Orignally published by INP

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