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What role can court play, SC asks protesting parties

Updated September 01, 2014
File photo
File photo

ISLAMABAD: Displeased with the violence on Constitution Avenue, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the protesting parties what role they want the apex court to play in the ongoing crisis. This was said by a larger bench during the hearing of a plea against extra-constitutional steps and sit-ins in the heart of Islamabad.

In the presence of Pakistan Teherek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Ahmad Awais, the bench asked the counsel of both protesting parties to ask their party leadership what proposal they have for the apex court in the ongoing political crisis and to revert with a reponse within the house.

The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) lawyer was not present during the hearing.

Justice Jawwad S Khwaja was visibly perturbed by the clashes, and asked the counsel, “What do you think… what is happening [on Constitution Avenue] — is this any different from any insurgency happening in FATA?”

Justice Saqib Nisar was also not happy with the unfolding events, and said that his car and security escort has come under attack the previous night. It is not clear which part of the capital the incident took place in.

The bench again asked the lawyers of the protesting parties what they wanted to achieve.

“Whom do you trust?” Justice Nisar asked.

“Your senior counsel Hamid Khan has suggested taking suo motu… What is in your mind? What kind of so motu should be taken?” he asked. Hamid Khan was not present in the courtroom.

The lawyer for PTI was mostly silent. On one occasion, he attempted to tell the bench that his party does not accept the Parliament as a legitimate one as it has been elected through rigging, but the court dismissed this argument. “We don’t want to go into that. Tell us what we should do,” the bench said.

PAT,PTI violate written agreement

When the attorney general came to the rostrum to speak, he said that each caveat of the agreement made by the protesting parties has been violated.

The agreement signed by the PTI and PAT, which is available with the Supreme Court, stipulates that the protesters will not enter the red zone, refrain from attacking private or public property, avoid bringing infants to the rally and restrict the volume of the sound system to reach only the area where protesters have assembled.