- PML-N leader demands Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial’s resignation
PML-N chief organiser Maryam Nawaz on Monday accused Chief Justice Supreme Court Umar Ata Bandial of imposing a “judicial martial law” in Pakistan. She said the Pakistan Democratic Movement's sit-in was not against the judges that abide by the Constitution, but against Imran Khan's "facilitators,” Aaj News reported.
Addressing PDM protesters outside the apex court, she said: “Today, when the army is standing with the democracy and Constitution of Pakistan, judicial martial law has been imposed from this building.”
Maryam said that we respect judges, the judiciary, and the law. "PDM leadership will not talk about the judges that abide by the Constitution," she said.
“If we will talk about anyone today, it will be Imran’s facilitators,” she stressed.
Maryam claimed Imran's facilitators within the SC were murdering justice. “It was the responsibility of this building to maintain the sanctity of the elected prime ministers […] to strengthen the democracy."
She said the top court should have been a place to strengthen Parliament and deliver justice to the oppressed.
The PML-N leader was accompanied by PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other leaders of the multi-party alliance.
Earlier, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) workers reached the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan to hold a protest against the alleged "blanket relief" provided by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umer Ata Bandial to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in multiple cases.**
On Saturday, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had called on supporters from all allied political parties to gather at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad on Monday to demonstrate national solidarity against what he perceived as preferential treatment of a "criminal" by the three-member bench of the apex court and the Islamabad High Court.
Highlighting the relief provided to Imran Khan through bail, Fazl asserted that the courts were inadvertently bolstering a criminal’s efforts to undermine and divide the nation.
On Sunday, he said that the ruling alliance will continue to protest outside SC till the resignation of CJP Bandial.
Fazl's announcement came after the IHC's ruling that eliminated any possibility of Imran Khan’s arrest until Monday, May 15, a day after the apex court deemed his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case “illegal”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supported Fazl's call and announced to join the protest.
The government discouraged Fazl from holding the sit-in at SC premises due to "security concerns" and shift it to D-Chowk but its efforts proved futile.
On the other hand, the government imposed Section-144 in Islamabad on Monday.
This sit-in coincides with the hearing of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) plea, requesting the apex court to reconsider its decision to hold elections for the Punjab Assembly on May 14.
The apex court adjourned the hearing till May 23.
The SC had ordered the government to hold elections for Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies on Sunday May 14 however, the government of Pakistan cited that holding the polls was impossible due to lack of man power and funds.
The government recommended holding the federal and provincial elections at the same time.
On the flip side, PTI kick-started its "Ayen Bachao, Mulk Bachao" (save constitution, save Pakistan) movement after the government flouted SC's order to hold elections in two provinces.
This is a developing story, and it will be updated accordingly