The Islamabad High Court on Monday lashed out at the government as well as the Army for the role assigned to the military “as the mediator” in the agreement to end the sit-in at Islamabad’s Faizabad Interchange.
The army chief instead of following the orders of the chief executive became a mediator, pointed out Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui as a hearing into the Faizabad protest was underway at the high court on Monday.
“Who is the Army to adopt a mediator’s role?” inquired the judge. “Where does the law assign this role to a major general?”
After the weeks-long protest that virtually paralysed the capital, the government and protesters reached an agreement late Sunday night, in which the former conceded to the latter’s demands.
The document of the agreement — submitted before the court — bears the signatures of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza, Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLY) leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi, two other protest leaders and Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, who facilitated the agreement.
“We are thankful to him [Gen Bajwa] for saving the nation from a big catastrophe,” the agreement document concludes, crediting the army chief and his representative team for their “special efforts”.
In its written order, the court notes a “number of serious objections on the terms of agreement”.
“Most alarming is that Maj Gen Faiz Hameed put signature as [the] one through whom [the] agreement was arrived at,” the order says. “It is also very strange that the efforts of Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff, have been acknowledged in the words: this entire agreement was reached through the efforts of the army chief and his representative team.”
The order notes that the role assumed by the army chief is “besides the Constitution and the law of the land”.
“Armed Forces being part of executive of the country cannot travel beyond its mandate bestowed upon it by the organic law of the country.”