The Supreme Court on Thursday hit out at the government for not taking timely action to preempt the Faizabad sit-in.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the reports submitted by the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Interior, the Supreme Court said that the sit-in is setting a bad precedent as anyone can bring the city to a standstill to get their demands across.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, who is part of the two-member bench headed by Justice Mushir Alam, remarked that though there were differences the parties should have approached the courts.
He further asked the Intelligence Bureau to provide details of who was supporting the sit-in—both politically and financially.
He remarked: “The report fails to give details of who is financing the sit-in and if there are foreign elements behind paralyzing the twin cities.”
The attorney general of Islamabad, in his report, told the court that the government is being very cautious because there is a risk of confrontation if action is taken against the protesters, as some of them are also armed.
Replying to the attorney general’s remarks, Justice Alam said: “Tomorrow, if an enemy of the state chooses to occupy the streets of the capital, will the government try to negotiate with them?”
Trying to clarify the government’s position, the attorney general said that the government had sent the SC’s order regarding dispersing the participants to the leaders of the protest.
Incensed by this reply, Justice Alam said, “What do you mean, will the protesters now decide if the sit-in will end or not?”
Speaking about the protesters, Justice Qazi said that the kind of language being used by the leaders of the sit-in is not reflective of Islam.
“Why is the media giving the sit-in so much coverage; where is the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra)?” asked the judge.
The court adjourned the hearing of the case for a week.