IHC orders religious group to end sit-in

IHC orders religious group to end sit-in

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The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered a religious group to end its sit-in on the Faizabad intersection — the main link between the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Express News reported on Thursday.

Around 2,000 protesters led by a Lahore-based firebrand cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, have kept Faizabad blocked since November 8, agitating over an amendment in the Khatm-e-Nabuwat clause.

The cleric’s main demand is that the government identify and punish those responsible for the recent controversy surrounding change of Khatm-e-Nabuwat clause in the election law.

During the hearing of a petition by the religious group’s lawyer Maulana Allah Wasaya, who claimed the Elections Act, 2017 promulgated on October 2, had repealed several laws through its Section 241, IHC judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said the young, elderly, employees and students were being affected due to the sit-in.

The IHC had on Tuesday suspended applicability of the Elections Act, 2017, to the extent of Khatm-e-Nabuwat – the avowal of absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh). “If a good deed is carried out wrongly it becomes a wrong act. Abide by the law, end sit-in so the public’s miseries can end,” Justice Siddiqui said.

Meanwhile, the petitioner’s counsel requested the court to issue orders to make public the report of a committee, headed by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq. The court, however, said: “Your petition will be taken up on the condition of ending the sit-in.”

The three-member committee was formed by the government to probe into the change in wording of lawmakers’ oath with regard to avowal of Khatm-e-Nabuwat. Later, the hearing of the petition was adjourned till November 29.

Rizvi’s entry to Islamabad had already been banned by the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration during Muharram as a precautionary measure to maintain peace. The authorities had warned the cleric against taking out the rally without obtaining a NOC. Not only the organisers have no NOC from the authorities, they are also in open violation of the IHC orders that all rallies be held in Parade Ground area only.

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