Faizabad Drama unfolds in Court

Pakistan Supreme Court bench hearing a case on disturbance of public life due to the sit-in at the Faizabad interchange came down heavily on the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The ISI gained its global recognition and fame in the 1980s, when it supported the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet Union during the Soviet–Afghan War. During the war, the ISI worked in close coordination with the CIA to train and fund the Mujahideen with American, Pakistani, and Saudi funds. Since then, it had been active in almost all spheres of Pakistan Governance.

During the hearing, Justice Isa questioned and criticised the role of ISI – what they were up to when violent protests erupted across the country?

“Why is ISI silent over the matter?”.

Admonishing the ISI representative in court, he observed that “everything is not part of a political agenda, [ISI] should think of the country sometimes too”.

During the hearing, the court rejected ISI reports, saying there is no depth and substance in them and that their performance was not up to the mark.

“We are not satisfied with the ISI report,” Justice Isa said, asking ISI to submit another report.

The protest is not completely over and the sit-in is still ongoing, observed Justice Isa. It appears that ISI is not comfortable in divulging the details of sinister designs behind Faizabad protests.

SC Shields Army

The judges, giving clean chit to the role of the army, which has come under scrutiny by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), observed that it was incorrect [to say] that the army is separate from the government. It is a common knowledge that instead of helping the government to diffuse the situation, the Army was busy in back channel negotiations with the protesters.

“Army is not separate from the government,” observed the bench. “They should not be maligned — those doing so are working on personal agendas.”

Scathing remarks were seen flying around during the course of hearing-Justice Isa remarked: “When the writ of the state ends, decisions are made on streets,” adding that, “this dharna [sit-in] is all about one man’s ego and his quest to get fame.”

Justice Mushir Alam enquired about the protesters possessing teargas shells and sticks. “How did the protesters get teargas shells and sticks?”

“If you cannot secure the federal capital, how will you secure the country?” The judge further enquired about the cases registered against protesters possessing explosive material.

The advocate general informed the court that 27 cases have been registered against the protesters for the illegal possessions.

With accusations and counter accusations flying around in High Court and Supreme Court of Pakistan, the hearing is likely to become more and more interesting. However, it is highly unlikely that any outcome is derived out of these hearings in the end except making the mockery of the democratically elected government.