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Sit-in staged by religious party was an attack on Muslims by Muslims: SC

04 January, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that the recent sit-in staged by a religious party at Faizabad in the federal capital was an ‘attack on Muslims by Muslims’.A two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Mushir Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, while hearing the suo motu case on disturbance to public life due to the protests, sought details from the attorney general on the number of lives lost and the damages caused during the sit.

During the hearing, the defence and interior ministries, Punjab government and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) submitted their respective reports on the protest before the court.

“How much damage was caused by the protest?” Justice Isa asked Attorney General Ashtar Ausuf. The court was told that an estimated damage of Rs 139.5 million was caused. The attorney general also informed the court that nine people in Punjab and three in Sindh lost their lives. He said that 194 police officers were injured in Islamabad but no security official was killed during the protest.

Justice Faiz asked whether all those who were killed were Muslims.

“This was an attack on Muslims by Muslims,” Justice Isa said. “It caused harm to the identity of Islam. This is not the first incident, but we hope it is the last one where an attempt is made to paralyse the state,” Justice Faiz said.

The Supreme Court also expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to monitor the Faizabad sit-in.

The court asked the top spy agency whether a cell to monitor such activities existed in the ISI or not, and if it did then was the top agency’s representative aware of who the protesters were, what the working of the group was like and the issues. “You are a top agency … don’t make a joke out of the country,” remarked Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

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