PDM to continue sit-in outside Supreme Court till CJP's resignation: Fazl

Muhammad Anis
Our Correspondent
Sohail Khan
In this file photo, PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman attend the PDM rally in Peshawar. — AFP/File
In this file photo, PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman attend the PDM rally in Peshawar. — AFP/File

  • Fazl urges people to attend protest; PML-N announces to join.
  • JUI's Karachi caravan to leave for Islamabad today.
  • SC registrar orders strict security arrangements outside court. 

ISLAMABAD: Inviting workers of all political parties to join the protest, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that the sit-in in Islamabad outside the Supreme Court will continue until the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial resigns, The News reported Sunday.

The ruling alliance of 13 political parties is all set to hold a sit-in outside the Supreme Court on Monday (tomorrow) to protest the judiciary’s "undue facilitation" to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

The protest sit-in coincides with the hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plea asking the apex court to revisit its order of holding elections to the Punjab Assembly on May 14. The petition will be heard a day after the court-ordered election deadline lapses.

Fazl, in a video message released on Saturday, said that the sit-in would be staged against the protection being given by a three-member bench of the apex court and Islamabad High Court to a "criminal".

“I ask the workers of all political parties to reach Constitution Avenue in Islamabad at 9am on Monday to show national solidarity against the protection of the criminal by the three-member bench and the high court," he said.

The PDM chief, who is also the president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam's (JUI) Fazl faction, shared that all had been done and dusted for the event and thousands of workers would reach the venue from all the provinces.

Refering to relief provided to Khan in terms of bails, Fazl said that the courts were encouraging a "criminal" to weaken the country and to disintegrate. 

He then asked workers of Ansarul Islam, a volunteer organisation of the JUI-F, to ensure discipline and peace during the protest, and also requested lawyers to participate in the event to ensure supremacy of law.

Fazl further stated that the entire nation was protesting against the actions of a few individuals of an institution and the biased approach to breach the Constitution.

“We should make it a national protest to give a strong message to the judiciary to give up such actions,” the PDM chief said.

PML-N decides to join PDM sit-in

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also announced that it would join the PMD's sit-in.

A meeting of the party leaders, headed by Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, was held at their Model Town Secretariat on Saturday, where the participants decided to attend the JUI-F’s planned demonstration outside the SC. 

The PML-N members were tasked to gather a maximum number of people for the protest.

PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz appointed the party's Lahore Malik Saif ul Malook Khokhar as convener for the Islamabad rally, which would start from Jati Umrah, Lahore. 

It was earlier decided that Maryam would lead the rally to Islamabad but later the decision was revoked.

JUI's Karachi caravan to leave for Islamabad today

Meanwhile, JUI's Sindh Secretary General Allama Rashid Mahmood Soomro announced that a caravan of party workers will leave Karachi from Sohrab Goth today (Sunday) to join the sit-in.

While addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Soomro said that after reaching Islamabad, JUI supporters will tell the CJP what the people wanted from him.

He went on to say that the apex court had sabotaged justice by playing the role of a PTI supporter.

The party leader said the protesters of the JUI and allied parties would remain peaceful; however, workers of the PTI could disturb the law and order situation in order to malign them.

Police officials skip SC registrar's security meeting

As the ruling coalition gears up for a protest outside the apex court, the SC Registrar had called a meeting of the Islamabad administration to chalk out a security plan and arrangements in view of Monday's sit-in.

It may be noted that hearings of major cases such as elections and National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 amendments are due in the SC on Monday.

The Registrar’s Office had summoned the Islamabad deputy commissioner, AIG (Special Branch), DIG (Operation) as well as SSP (Operation). 

However, it emerged that no other officer, except for the Islamabad deputy commissioner, showed up at the meeting. At this the registrar expressed grave concerns and directed the deputy commissioner to ensure security arrangements on Monday.