Islamabad sit-in: IHC issues contempt of court notice to Ahsan Iqbal
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued contempt of court notice to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal for failing to comply with court orders of dislodging the religious parties’ sit-in at Faizabad Interchange. The IHC judge Justice Shaukat Siddiqui resumed hearing of the case against Faizabad sit-in. During the proceedings, the judge expressed anger on the government for failing to comply with court orders of dislodging the religious parties’ sit-in at Faizabad Interchange. It is impossible to understand how an interior minister or even a prime minister can ignore court orders, Justice Shaukat Siddiqui said. The court further gave the federal capital administration deadline to end the ongoing Faizabad sit-in by Sunday. The high court also called the DIG police Islamabad, DG Intelligence Bureau and the Sector commander ISI to appear before the court on next hearing. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had warned authorities to obey its order to shut down a protest by religious parties, which has sparked widespread anger by virtually bringing the capital to a halt for two weeks. The court said it would hold officials in contempt if they did not launch a crackdown, as enraged commuters called for the roads to be opened and critics accused the government of creating a dangerous precedent by failing to take a tough stance. On the other hand, hundreds of activists of religious parties’ continue to stage sit-in at Faizabad on 19th day as a deadlock in the negotiations with the government continues to persist. Religious groups have been staging over two-week-long protest at Faizabad Interchange, the main entry point of the capital city. Despite talks between the two sides, a deadlock persists between the authorities and protesters over the Faizabad blockade. The protesters are demanding the resignation of federal law minister Zahid Hamid over a hastily-abandoned amendment to the oath election candidates must swear. The government insisted on negotiating with the demonstrators, who are a small group by Pakistani standards, even after the court issued an order for the roads to be cleared by last Saturday. "This is a very serious situation," a written statement from the court said. It blasted the lack of progress as "beyond comprehension" and said the suffering of citizens had reached its limit.