Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmad of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday praised the army for its efforts in defusing the situation in Faizabad, a day after Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui lashed out at the military's role as the mediator between the protesters and the government.
"Everyone knows that the army has saved the country from a huge catastrophe," Justice Ahmad remarked, referring to the sit-in by religious parties that had all but paralyzed the capital for three weeks.
Numerous people would have been killed had the army not played a role, added the judge.
He said that the picture of martyred Major Ishaq's daughter with her father's coffin is proof of the army's sacrifices for the country. "I could not sleep all night after looking at that picture."
"Who is the army to adopt a mediator's role?" Justice Siddiqui had asked on Monday during a hearing at the Islamabad High Court (IHC). "Where does the law assign this role to a major general?"
"This court has serious reservations on the terms of the agreement and mannerism in which it arrived; however, the federal government has to satisfy the court about the constitutional role of Armed forces and an acknowledgement by the federal government/Executive of the country regarding role of armed forces as an arbitrator," the order by IHC on Monday read, calling for the attorney general to assist the court on this point.
Justice Ahmad made the remarks about the Faizabad sit-in and agreement while hearing the petition for the recovery of Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) leader Nasir Abbas Shirazi, who was allegedly picked up by four armed men in an Elite Force vehicle.
Shirazi's brother claimed that he was picked up days after approaching the court for Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah's disqualification for remarks against Justice Baqir Najfi. However, the police had refused to register a case against the law minister.
Justice Ahmad expressed his anger over the inability of security agencies to recover Shirazi. He said that the court was aware of their capabilities and it was not a big deal for them to ensure recovery of one person.
He also expressed annoyance at the ministers speaking against the courts, and asked the additional advocate general Punjab to "help ministers learn how to respect the courts".
Military Intelligence's (MI) Colonel Ahmad informed the court that Shirazi was not in MI's custody.
Justice Ahmad ordered the ISI, IB and other intelligence agencies to ensure recovery of the abductee and adjourned the hearing until December 4.