Interior Minister appears in IHC in Faizabad sit-in case

Ahsan Iqbal

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday has appeared before Islamabad High Court (IHC) in a case pertaining to Faizabad sit-in being staged by Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) workers.
During the hearing, Justice Siddiqui asked from Deputy Attorney General that where is Ahsan Iqbal, over which he responded the minister was awakened all the night to monitor sit-in situation due to which he got late.
However, reaching the court, Ahsan Iqbal told the court about the agreement signed with the protesters over which, the court remarked, “We directed you to vacate Faizabad not to sign any agreement.”
Chief Commission said that everything will be cleared in few hours after which, the judge asked to read out the agreement, saying that how long the nation has to suffer all this.
The court lashed out at the government as well as the Army for the role assigned to the military “as the mediator” in the agreement to to end the sit-in at Islamabad’s Faizabad Interchange. “This is proof of the military’s involvement,” the judge remarked.
During the hearing, Justice Siddiqui told Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal that the administration has the right to call in the Army to control an emergency situation. The Army is bound to heed the administration’s call, the judge added.
The minister told the court that during the protests and the operation in Islamabad, the country’s internal security was at risk. “Security officials were being attacked everyday. Motorways, railways and cities were being closed.”
The judge asked why the agreement did not carry the signatures of the chief commissioner and the IG. The document of the agreement reached between protesters and the government bears the signatures of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza, TLY leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, two other protest leaders and Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, who facilitated the agreement.
The IHC is conducting hearings on two applications that were filed by residents about the disturbances caused by the protracted sit-in.
The hearing was adjourned until next Monday.

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