Islamic party in Pakistan’s ruling coalition stages protest judiciary ‘favouring’ former PM Khan

Islamabad: An Islamic party in Pakistan’s ruling coalition on Monday staged a demonstration to protest against the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, for allegedly providing “blanket relief” to former prime minister Imran Khan in a number of cases.

Many protesters, including workers and supporters of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), made an entrance into the Red Zone despite Section 144 still in effect in the federal capital, Dawn News reported.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — a ruling alliance of 13 political parties — on Friday announced that it will stage the sit-in outside the Supreme Court against Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial for facilitating the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman.

The protesters will launch demonstrations between 1 pm and 2 pm on Monday.

“PDM workers reach outside the gate of the Supreme Court. Protestors have entered the Red Zone, but the situation is peaceful,” Geo News quoted an Islamabad Police spokesperson as saying.

Talks between the JUI-F and authorities over the location of the protest failed, and the party after the failure of the talks vowed to hold its protest outside the Supreme Court.

Khan was on Friday granted bail by the Supreme Court of Pakistan after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested the ousted prime minister in a corruption case.

Khan has said the JUI-F “drama” that is being done outside the Supreme Court is only for one purpose — to overawe the Chief Justice of Pakistan so that he does not give a verdict according to the Constitution.

Khan’s arrest by the Pakistan Rangers at the IHC premises last Tuesday triggered unrest in Pakistan that continued till Friday and led to several deaths and dozens of military and state installations being destroyed by the protesters.

For the first time in the country’s history, the protesters stormed the army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi and also torched the historic Corps Commander’s House in Lahore.

Police put the death toll in violent clashes to 10 while Khan’s party claims 40 of its workers lost their lives in the firing by security personnel.