ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Friday submitted a report in the Supreme Court stating that the ongoing protests in Islamabad had caused a loss of Rs547 billion to the national exchequer.
The government submitted the report during the hearing of a set of petitions against sit-ins by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) on Constitution Avenue.
The petitions are being heard by a five judge bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk.
On September 3, Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali had directed Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt to submit a list of cases of financial losses during the ongoing protests.
The AG submitted the report today which stated that due to the ongoing political turmoil, several world leaders and heads of states had cancelled their trips to Pakistan.
The protests and political unrest have caused a loss of about Rs547 billion to the exchequer and shattered investors’ confidence, the report said.
During the hearing, Awami Muslim League (AML) president Sheikh Rasheed, who is representing the protesting parties, said he had met with PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and the PTI leadership over clearance of the Parliament's premises.
Following this, protesters from both parties had vacated the area, Rasheed said.
He further said that if the government removed the 800 containers from the area, then both protesting parties would retreat to D-Chowk.
“Things are moving in a positive direction and we are heading towards a political solution,” Rasheed said.
Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja responded that Rasheed had put forth his stance and now it was the court’s turn to decide.
PTI’s counsel Hamid Khan wasn’t present in the court and on behalf of the party Barrister Yousuf Khosa said the PTI had already submitted its response which said that the court should seek answers from all political parties to end the deadlock.
CJ Nasirul Mulk said Constitution Avenue was free for public movement and flow of traffic, adding that the area could not be paralysed through protests.
The apex court asked the remaining political parties to submit their replies in response to the court’s orders and also directed parties who had submitted their responses to make further additions if needed and submit them at the next hearing of the case on September 10.
Earlier on September 2, the apex court had issued notices to all parliamentary parties as requested by petitioner Zulfiqar Naqvi who had requested the court that all parties be summoned so that the deadlock can be resolved.