Friday, May 12, 2023
The ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Friday announced staging a “peaceful" sit-in outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad on May 15 (Monday) against Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial for “facilitating” and giving “VIP protocol” to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.
In a hard-hitting press conference, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman alleged that the country’s Constitution, law and everything have been put at risk for the sake of the PTI chairman.
He made the remarks a day after a top court’s three-member bench headed by CJP Bandial declared Khan’s arrest on the premises of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the Al-Qadir Trust case as “invalid and unlawful”. During the course of proceedings, the CJP welcomed the former prime minister — who was deposed from the office last April via a no-confidence motion — saying “Good to see you”.
The ruling alliance of 13 political parties, however, largely criticised the CJP for welcoming Khan into the courtroom.
During the presser, the PDM chief — who is also head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) — said that the top court ordered not to take action against Khan for the incidents after May 9. He added that the judiciary was giving rulings beyond the Constitution.
Blasting the apex court, the PDM chief said the leniency was given to three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Fazl said even Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo was not provided a telephone to inquire about the health of her ailing wife — Kulsoom Nawaz.
“Was this kind of leniency given to Maryam Nawaz or Faryal Talpur?” the JUI-F chief asked.
But on the other hand, Khan was being given “VIP protocol”, he added.
The PDM chairman further announced that they have decided to stage a protest against the “behaviour” of the Supreme Court.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s 3-2 verdict on elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the PDM chief said that they were not ready to accept the decision.
On March 1, the apex court ruled, in a 3-2 verdict, that the elections should be held in the two provinces within 90 days.
However, on April 7, the controversy surrounding the top court’s verdict on Punjab elections took another turn after Justice Athar Minallah, in his detailed order, stated that the case was dismissed by 4 to 3 and clarified that “he had not recused nor had any reason to dissociate himself” from the case.
The PDM chief said, “According to us, the decision of 4-3 is a unanimous decision.”
Responding to a question, the PDM chairman vowed that the sit-in will remain “peaceful” but warned that if they were manhandled, then they will give a curt reply.
The PDM chief further said that if the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or any other group attack the state, they were declared traitor and the group is banned. Referring to the attacks on the General Headquarters (GHQ) and ransacking of the Lahore Corps Commander’s home, Fazl said that it will be regrettable if action is not taken against the PTI.
All the component parties of the ruling alliance were present in the meeting, while PML-N supremo and Maryam Nawaz attended the huddle via video link, he added.