Faizabad protesters committed blasphemy: IHC

Faizabad protesters committed blasphemy: IHC

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ISLAMABAD:  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday declared that the Faizabad protesters committed blasphemy and the state surrendered before them.

IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui while hearing a case regarding the sit-in protest observed that each section of the agreement between the Faizabad protesters and the state was unconstitutional.

 

On November 6, hundreds of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) supporters camped at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad calling for the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid, who they blamed for a hastily-abandoned change in the oath of elected representatives. The group called off its nationwide protests on November 27, after the government met its demand and accepted Hamid’s resignation.

The IHC bench, on Monday, said the court expected the Army to probe into Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s name being used in the agreement.

The high court, which had been questioning the role of the armed forces as mediator in the entire episode, gave two options to Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf who was present in the courtroom — to decide whether the matter related to the agreement should be referred to the parliament or the government top officials, including the army, should deliberate over the legality of the agreement. The AGP opted for the second option.

Justice Siddiqui was also bewildered at how the state could abolish terrorist cases against the same protesters who had paralysed the capital and brutally tortured police officials.

“Is the police not a part of the state? You should pay a four-month salary to the police officials for their work” he said.

The IHC judge also made clear that the court would not endorse the agreement made between the protesters and the state, saying the government accepted the demand of only one side and that the army played the role of a moderator in negotiating the contentious deal.

The government authorities including the mediator (army chief) should deliberate on the agreement, recommended the IHC bench.

On this, Ashtar Ausaf sought time to look into the matter. He also informed the court that the matter was also sub judice in the Supreme Court and, therefore, the IHC should wait for the outcome of its proceedings.

Justice Siddiqui said, “Nobody’s life is safe in the country.” The IHC judge also ordered for the AGP to stop the issuance of fatwas (religious decrees), from mosques and madrassas, declaring anyone a non-Muslim.

The IHC later adjourned the hearing until January 12.

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