IHC Orders End to Protests in Islamabad, Crackdown Expected Today

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered on Thursday the religious parties to end their sit-in at Faizabad Interchange of the capital.

Two major religious parties had blocked major routes between Islamabad and Rawalpindi for last 10 ten days in protest against the government’s change, and then reversal, of the finality of Prophethood oath for lawmakers.

Hearing the petition filed by Maulana Allah Wasaya against the amendments to the clauses related to the finality of Prophethood in the Elections Act, 2017, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui remarked that the petition will be taken up on the condition of ending the sit-in.

He directed the petitioner’s counsel to abide by the law and end the sit-in so that the public’s miseries can end. The judge observed further that the young, elderly, employees, and students are being adversely affected due to the protest.

The petitioner’s counsel wants the government to make public the report of the inquiry committee headed by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq.

During the hearing, the judge also observed that if a good deed is carried out wrongly, then it becomes a wrong act.

He also ordered the petitioner’s counsel to apologize for the scandalous remarks reportedly ushered against the chief justice of Pakistan at the protest.

The hearing was then adjourned until November 29.

Crackdown against Protesters Expected Today

As the mobile coverage surrounding the Faizabad Interchange has just been blocked, the roads and streets leading to the area are blocked by heavy containers. With massive deployment of law enforcement agencies, crackdown on the sit-in is likely today.

Talal Chaudhary, State Minister for Interior, had confirmed yesterday that an action is likely within the next 24 hours if religious parties don’t back off from the sit-in that’s blocking the commute of several million people in the twin cities.

Religious parties, for their part, are asking the government to name the person who had proposed the changes in oath related to the finality of Prophethood in the Elections Act, 2017.

In case of a crackdown, however, a severe backlash is expected.