PDM continues sit-in outside Supreme Court until CJP resigns: Fazl

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In this file photo, PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, PPP Chair Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman attend the PDM meeting in Peshawar.  — AFP/File
In this file photo, PML-N Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, PPP Chair Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman attend the PDM meeting in Peshawar. — AFP/File
  • Fazl urges people to attend protest; PML-N announces to join.
  • JUI’s Karachi caravan leaves for Islamabad today.
  • SC’s clerk orders strict security arrangements out of court.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has invited workers from all political parties to join the protest and has said the sit-in in Islamabad will continue outside the Supreme Court until the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial resigns, The news reported Sunday.

The ruling alliance of 13 political parties is poised for a sit-in outside the Supreme Court on Monday (tomorrow) to protest the “improper facilitation” of the judiciary to Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

The protest sit-in coincides with the plea hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) asking the apex court to review its order to hold elections for the Punjab assembly on May 14. The petition will expire one day after the court-ordered election period.

Fazl said in a video message released on Saturday that the sit-in would be staged against the protection provided by a three-man apex court bench and Supreme Court of Islamabad to a “criminal”.

“I ask the workers of all political parties to reach Constitution Avenue in Islamabad at 9 am on Monday to show national solidarity against the protection of the criminal by the three-member bench and the Supreme Court,” he said.

The PDM chief, who is also the president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI) Fazl faction, said everything was done and dusted for the event and thousands of workers from all provinces would reach the venue.

Referring to aid provided to Khan in the form of bail, Fazl said the courts were encouraging a “criminal” to weaken and disintegrate the country.

He then asked workers of Ansarul Islam, a volunteer organization of the JUI-F, to ensure discipline and peace during the protest, and also requested lawyers to participate in the event to ensure the supremacy of the law.

Fazl further stated that the entire nation was protesting the actions of a few individuals of an institution and the biased approach to violating the constitution.

“We should make it a national outcry to send a strong signal to the judiciary to abandon such actions,” the PDM chief said.

PML-N decides to join PDM’s sit-in

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) also announced that it would join the PMD sit-in.

A meeting of the party leaders, led by Federal Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, was held at their Model Town secretariat on Saturday, where the participants decided to attend the JUI-F’s planned demonstration outside the SC.

The PML-N members were instructed to gather a maximum number of people for the protest.

Maryam Nawaz, chief organizer of the PML-N, appointed the party’s Lahore Malik Saif ul Malook Khokhar as the organizer for the rally in Islamabad, which was to start from Jati Umrah, Lahore.

Earlier it was decided that Maryam would lead the meeting to Islamabad but later the decision was reversed.

JUI’s Karachi caravan leaves for Islamabad today

Meanwhile, JUI’s General Secretary of Sindh, Allama Rashid Mahmood Soomro, announced that a caravan of party operatives will leave Karachi today (Sunday) from Sohrab Goth to join the sit-in.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Soomro said that after reaching Islamabad, JUI supporters will tell the CJP what the people wanted from him.

He went on to say that the apex court had sabotaged justice by playing the role of a PTI supporter.

The party leader said that the demonstrators from the JUI and related parties would remain peaceful; however, PTI employees could disrupt public order in order to defame them.

Police officers skip the SC Registrar’s security meeting

As the ruling coalition gears up for a protest outside the apex court, the SC clerk had convened a meeting of the Islamabad government to outline a security plan and arrangements in view of Monday’s sit-in.

It may be noted that the handling of major matters such as elections and the amendment of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 will take place in the Supervisory Board on Monday.

The Registrar’s Office had summoned the Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad, AIG (Special Branch), DIG (Operation) and SSP (Operation).

However, it turned out that no other officer except the deputy commissioner of Islamabad appeared at the meeting. At this, the clerk expressed serious concern and instructed the deputy commissioner to ensure security measures on Monday.

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