Pak’s Ruling Coalition Alleges Supreme Court Favouring Imran Khan

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Pak's Ruling Coalition Alleges Supreme Court Favouring Imran Khan


Pakistan government’s leading coalition partner on Friday announced plans to hold a sit-in before the Supreme Court on Monday to register its protest against the alleged judicial favouritism towards the ousted prime minister Imran Khan.

The announcement was made by the chief of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Maulana Fazlur Rehman before the media following a meeting of leaders whose parties are part of the group headed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

“Today we have decided that there will be a protest against the Supreme Court’s behaviour. I while representing PDM leadership and appeal to the whole nation that the whole nation should head out for Islamabad on Monday. A big protest will be carried out in front of the Supreme Court,” Rehman said.

In a major relief for the chief of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party, the Supreme Court on Thursday declared Khan’s dramatic arrest “unlawful” and “invalid” and ordered his immediate release after he was produced before a bench on its orders.

Khan, 70, was arrested on Tuesday outside the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and an accountability court on Wednesday handed him over to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for eight days’ remand in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case.

On Friday, Rehman lashed out at the Supreme Court’s decision to declare Khan’s arrest as invalid, saying that the top judiciary was showing partiality towards him.

“The court should behave as the mother of law and not as mother-in-law,” he said.

The “mother-in-law” jibe referred to a recent audio clip of the mother-in-law of Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial who is heard expressing her anxiety over Khan not getting relief from the courts.

He also said that “hooliganism and terrorism” were being carried out in the whole country and the “court is protecting that terrorism”.

“The Army chief’s headquarters is attacked, the corps commander’s house is attacked … the way state defence institutions are being disrespected, is the court for their security [or not]?” he asked.

He also criticised the IHC for granting protective bail to Khan in several cases on Friday.

“You can yourself imagine where our judiciary is standing and how it is giving decisions against the law and the Constitution,” he said.

The Maulana, who is also chief of his Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) party, warned that his workers would react if attacked by any group or person.

When asked about the imposition of Section 144 in Islamabad, the presence of the military and permission for the protest, he said: “This issue is no longer ours. We have gone far beyond it”.

PDM is a group of more than half a dozen parties which was set up when Khan was in power and the objective was to topple his government which it succeeded in April last year.

Separately, the Cabinet in its meeting endorsed the decision of the PDM to hold a “peaceful protest” outside the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Sharif chaired the meeting.

The decision to hold a protest outside the Supreme Court comes as the deadline for the holding election in Punjab on May 14 will lapse. The court on April 4 had set the date.

The apex court has already fixed Monday (May 15) to hear the petition of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to revisit its order of holding elections in the Punjab Assembly on May 14.

A three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and Justices Ijazul Ahsan and Munib Akhtar will take up the plea.

It is said that the court may start contempt proceedings against the government for violating its orders to hold an election on May 14 and the decision to hold a sit-in aimed at putting pressure on the judicial process.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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