Pakistan Supreme Court raps ISI for shoddy report on Faizabad protests
The Pakistan Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by the ISI regarding the financial details of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of the religious party behind the Faizabad sit-in in November last year.
By: PTI | Islamabad | Published: March 19, 2018 10:01 pm
Normal life in Islamabad was disrupted for 20 days by protesters belonging to religious parties, including TLY, the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan. (File Photo)
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday rapped the ISI for its shoddy report on the source of funding of the leader of a religious party behind the Faizabad sit-in last year, with a judge saying he feared for the country. The top court expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by the ISI regarding the financial details of Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of the religious party behind the Faizabad sit-in in November last year that brought the Pakistani capital to a standstill.
The apex court had taken note of the anti-judiciary remarks during the protests that killed at least six people. A two-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Qazi Faez Isa, heard the case on Monday. Expressing dissatisfaction with the report of the country’s premier intelligence agency on the issue, Justice Isa remarked that the bench, at the last hearing, had inquired from the agency to inform it of the source of Rizvi’s funding.
The court inquired from the Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mahmood, who submitted the report on behalf of the ISI, how he can be satisfied with the report and expressed surprise that the intelligence agency is unaware of Rizvi’s source of income. Justice Mushir Alam questioned why the ISI did not mention the source of Rizvi’s income, bank accounts and whether he pays tax or not.
Justice Isa remarked that he fears (for the country) after reading the report. “He (Rizvi) destroyed property worth billions yet no one knows what he does,” Justice Isa was quoted as saying by Geo Tv. Justice Isa said that the ISI — just like the judiciary — was “answerable to taxpayers”. The Dawn newspaper reported that the Supreme Court earlier rejected the ISI’s report on the Faizabad sit-in, calling it “unsatisfactory”.
“This report is deeply unsettling: it has been prepared by one of the premier agencies of the country, yet a journalist could have given more details (about the protests) than this report,” Justice Isa said after reviewing the document submitted by the ISI. Directing Mahmood, the DAG to re-submit the report through the attorney general’s office, the hearing was adjourned for two weeks.
Normal life in Islamabad was disrupted for 20 days by protesters belonging to religious parties, including TLY, the Tehreek-i-Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, and the Sunni Tehreek Pakistan. The protesters had occupied the Faizabad Interchange, which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road — both of which are the busiest roads in the twin cities. The then law minister Zahid Hamid was accused by the protesters of blasphemy after a reference to the Prophet Muhammad was left out of a revised version of the electoral oath. He later called it a “clerical error”.
The sit-in ended after the Pakistan Army brokered an ‘agreement’ between the state and the protesters, the terms of which included the resignation of former law minister Hamid. The agreement had been seen as a complete surrender by the state to the protesters.
Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday ordered the arrest of Rizvi and Afzal Qadri and other absconding suspects in the Faizabad sit-in case. During proceedings of the case, the ATC directed that Rizvi and Qadri, along with other absconding suspects, be arrested and presented in court on April 4.
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