Interior minister served contempt notice in Faizabad sit-in case

  • Ahsan Iqbal had earlier announced Nov 23 deadline to call off the strike
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Fridy issued a contempt of court notice to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal for his failure to follow the court orders to end the ongoing sit-in that has paralyzed the twin cities for 19 days.

Justice Shaukat Siddiqui resumed hearing of the case and expressed dismay over the government inaction.

The court has asked the interior minister the reasons for not taking action against the protester despite issuance of court orders when Chief Commissioner revealed that the government had barred the city administration from taking action.

The protest by religious parties, which are demanding the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid over amending Khatam-e-Nabuwwat clause, has entered its 19th day.

During the last hearing on Monday, the court asked the minister, who himself appeared in the court, about the reasons behind not implementing the court orders.

The minister informed the court that the government wanted to resolve the matter through peaceful means and sought time for tackling the issue.

The court had also issued showcause notices for contempt of court to the interior secretary, chief commissioner and Islamabad inspector general.

After appearing before the Islamabad High Court on Monday, Iqbal announced that the religious groups have been granted two days (till Nov 23) to call off the sit-in.

Last week, the high court had on Thursday directed religious groups to call off the sit-in in the capital, staged as a protest against the Election Bill 2017.

Hearing a petition filed by Maulana Allah Wasaya against the manipulation of Khatam e Nabuuwat clause (which was later amended) of Electoral Reforms Bill 2017, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued directives for calling off the strike.

Moreover, on Friday, the same court ordered the capital administration to take action against the religious groups and clear the Faizabad Interchange.

Citing the difficulties faced by citizens due to blockage of the major artery, the court not only permitted the capital administration to enlist the support of Rangers or Frontier Constabulary but also directed to clear the thoroughfare by  Saturday.