Pakistan’s top court has reserved its verdict in the Faizabad sit-in case.
A two-member Supreme Court bench, comprising Justice Qazi Faez Isa and Justice Mushir Alam, resumed the hearing on Thursday morning.
The bench severely criticised the role of the PML-N’s government, PTI, the Election Commission, intelligence agencies and PEMRA during the TLP’s 2017 sit-in.
Justice Isa remarked: “Will the ‘hidden forces’ decide Pakistan’s future?” The judge said that those who refused to be subservient to the Constitution are “traitors”.
He questioned why no action was taken against the TLP protesters and those who suspended the media transmission of the sit-in. “We are living in a state where the media is controlled,” Justice Isa said. “Will the state help those who take law into their hands?”
Justice Isa warned Attorney General Anwar Masood Khan that court could initiate contempt proceedings against him for not appearing before the bench. During the hearing, the bench was told that the attorney general could not come because he was attending a meeting of Economic Coordination Committee on the orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“What business does the attorney general have with economics?” Justice Isa remarked. “Is the attorney general a servant of the prime minister?” He said that the ISI, judges and attorney general were the servants of the state.
In November 2017, the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan staged a 21-day sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange in Islamabad against a minor change in the oath lawmakers take. The sit-in ended only after the military acted as a mediator for an agreement to end the protest and the PML-N government removed its law minister, Zahid Hamid.
On October 11, the ISI rejected rumours that it was behind a 21-day sit-in.
“A false impression was created that the ISI was behind the dharna and fake stories were created that the ISI was sustaining the protesters,” the defence ministry said in its report. “In reality, the ISI made every effort to support the government in a peaceful resolution of the issue.”