Govt submits report in SC as Islamabad sit-in enters 18th day

The government submitted its report on the Faizabad sit-in in the Supreme Court on Thursday, two days after the apex court took suo motu notice of the matter.
The Ministries of Defence and Interior presented their response before the Supreme Court, as the sit-in, which is being staged by a religious group, continued for the 18th day with no headway so far between the government and the protestors.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, hearing the case, expressed his dismay at the unrelenting situation and noted that the residents of Islamabad and Rawalpindi were facing serious problems as a result of the sit-in.
“When the writ of the state ends, decisions are made on streets,” Justice Isa remarked, adding without taking any names, “This dharna is all about one man’s ego.”
The judge further questioned how the country will manage to function if such a situation persists.
Read more: Supreme Court takes suo motu notice of Islamabad sit-in
“If something happens yet again tomorrow, will [they] close down cities again?” he asked.
“We don’t want bloodshed in the country,” Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf told the court. “We are taking initiatives [about the sit-in].”
The Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the protests on Tuesday, and had sought replies from the relevant government quarters. The apex court had also issued notices to Inspector General Islamabad Police and Attorney General.
A day earlier, at least four security personnel were injured when the protesters resorted to pelting stones at security forces deployed in the area. Four FC and police personnel, including SP Saddar Amir Niazi, were injured as a result.
Also read:  Islamabad sit-in continues despite court notices, official pleas
The protest has resulted in severe issues for residents of the capital and Rawalpindi, who face traffic jams and mobility issues on a daily basis. At least two casualties due to ambulances being unable to cross the protesters have also been reported.
Talks between the government and protesters on Saturday and then on Monday failed with no breakthrough in sight, as protest leaders continue to demand the resignation of Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid.
The protests are being held against the change in the finality of Prophethood oath in the law when the government passed the Elections Act 2017 last month. The change, dubbed a clerical error by the government, was immediately fixed as an amendment was passed later.