IHC serves contempt notice to Ahsan Iqbal in Islamabad sit-in case

The Islamabad High Court on Friday served contempt notice to Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal for failing to taking action against Faizabad sit-in despite court orders.
Justice Shaukat Siddiqui while hearing the case expressed annoyance at the government’s inaction, saying flouting court order is tantamount to disrespecting it.
He asked under what authority did the interior minister stop action against the sit-in despite court order, in response to the Chief Commissioner’s comment that the government stopped the city administration from doing so.
Read more: Islamabad administration moves to cut ‘supply line’ of Faizabad sit-in protesters
It is unfathomable how an interior minister or even a prime minister can flout court orders, he said.
The protest has entered its 19th day despite orders from both Supreme Court and IHC against the sit-in.
In the last hearing, attended by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Justice Shaukat Siddiqui asked why court orders to end the protest are not being implemented.
The minister, taking sole responsibility for the failure to end the sit-in, said he wants to resolve the matter peacefully and asked the court for more time.
Also read:  Islamabad sit-in continues despite court notices, official pleas
The court also issued showcause notices for contempt of court to the interior secretary, chief commissioner and Islamabad inspector general.
“I believe we’ll be able to bring the protesters to our side,” said Iqbal after the hearing.
Court expresses displeasure
As the hearing began on Monday, Justice Siddiqui expressed reservations saying that the government did not implement his order to clear the protest by 10am on Saturday despite his clear-cut directions to the local administration.
The judge said that he will issue a ‘contempt of court’ order in this regard and ordered the interior ministry’s top officials to be present in court today.
Commuters in the twin cities continue to face hardship as the protest sit-in at Faizabad Interchange, linking the main Islamabad-Rawalpindi route, by religious parties enters its fifteenth day today.
Read more: IHC summons interior minister on non-implementation of ‘sit-in order’
Sources said the daily deployment of police and paramilitary personnel is costing the government Rs5 million every day.
Hearing the petition filed by Maulana Allah Wasaya, a member of the protesting group, against the amendments to the clauses related to the finality of Prophethood in the Elections Act, 2017, Justice Siddiqui on November 16 remarked that the petition will be taken up on the condition of ending the sit-in.
The Supreme Court also took notice of the sit-in on Tuesday and sought replies from the relevant government quarters.