ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed leaders of political parties to submit their suggestions by Thursday to end the current political stalemate.
The Five-member larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk, resumed the hearing of a plea against sit-ins in the Federal Capital and extra-constitutional steps by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).
The Chief Justice directed Sheikh Rasheed to consult the leadership of both PTI and PAT to vacate the Parliament House premises and submit reply till Thursday.
Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali directed the Attorney General for Pakistan to submit detailed report regarding loss to exchequer, damages to state buildings, number of people and policemen killed and injured,car and motorbike damages, Stock Exchange loss because of these sit-ins after getting replies from Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Finance and other relevant ministries.
He also sought report regarding steps taken by the government and FIRs lodged against protestors for damaging state properties.
During the course of proceedings, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) appeared before the bench and said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) protestors had stormed and occupied the Parliament House, PM House, Pakistan Secretariat and Pakistan Television (PTV) buildings and established tent-city in the area.
He also pleaded the court to issue directives for these parties to vacate and clear the Parliament House and other state- owned buildings.
Senator Raza Rabbani also appeared before the bench and told that after the passage of 18th Amendment, the role of Federation had changed. The Constitution was in danger as protestors were demanding to unconstitutionally dissolve the National and Provincial Assemblies,he added.
Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, President Awami Muslim League told the court that he was also part of sit-ins and the protestors had not occupied the Parliament House as Joint Session of the Parliament was now in progress.
He said that he believed in the supremacy of Constitution and law for the sake of democracy.
He said that poor people including women and children, had been sleeping in the parking area of the Parliament House and if the government assured of no operation, then they would leave the House and again shift to the roads.
He said that the Speaker was the custodian of the Parliament House and he should ensure the security of the House.
Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that both PTI and PAT had submitted their replies before the Bench and stated that they were not creating hurdles in the smooth flow of traffic on the Constitution Avenue.
He observed that Federal Board of Revenue, Pakistan Secretariat,Federal Shariat Court and Election Commission, had not been working for the last seventeen days.
He remarked that the protestors have the right to protest but they cannot be allowed to capture state buildings. He said the apex court had to adjourn 80 per cent cases due to these sit-ins as lawyers failed to reach court.
Sheikh Rasheed pointed out that containers placed by government were creating hurdle in free movement of masses.
On this, Aitzaz Ahsan said that containers did not create hurdle in the free movement as PTI workers came for sit-in in the evening and went back to their homes late night.
Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja remarked that government was responsible for provision of security and government can take steps for the security.
Chief Justice Nasir-Ul-Mulk remarked that the government did not issue No Objection Certificate (NoC) to PTI and PAT to enter Red Zone area of Federal Capital but both parties failed to implement executive orders despite receiving approval of sit-ins at Aabpara Chowk.
He observed that it was moral duty of the protestors to follow government orders.
Justice Saqib Nisar inquired that in which capacity PAT protestors were conducting body search of law-enforcing agencies, civil servants and lawyers and said the court would not allow breach of freedom of movement.
Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja remarked that PAT and PTI protestors were creating anarchic situation in the country.
Iftikhar Jillani, counsel for three political parties, informed the court that PAT protestors were misbehaving with people.
Justice Khawaja remarked that Pakistan was a Federation which has four units and the protestors had totally ignored the voice of Balochistan and Sindh.
He said they just wanted to settle their issues of a specific area in the Red Zone.
Later, hearing of the case was adjourned till September 5 (Friday).