Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the head of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), remains resolute in his decision to hold a sit-in outside the Supreme Court in Islamabad, despite efforts by the federal government to convince him otherwise. The protest was called by the PDM in response to the blanket relief granted to PTI Chairman Imran Khan in various cases, including the Al Qadir Trust case for which he was detained by Rangers on the premises of the Islamabad High Court.
A delegation from the federal government, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, met with Maulana Fazlur Rehman to discuss changing the venue of the sit-in due to security concerns. However, their efforts did not succeed, and the sit-in is expected to take place on Constitution Avenue in Islamabad, outside the Supreme Court building.
In a media talk following the meeting, Minister Rana Sanaullah gave an ambiguous statement regarding the outcome, stating that a final decision on the venue would be made on Monday morning. He also mentioned that the decision to hold the sit-in outside the Supreme Court was made collectively by all parties in the PDM. Despite these discussions, Maulana Fazlur Rehman was not present at the press conference, indicating that he likely did not agree with changing the venue.
Both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have submitted an application to the local administration of Islamabad seeking permission to hold the sit-in at D-Chowk, in front of the Parliament House. The sit-in coincides with the expected resumption of the Supreme Court’s hearing on the Election Commission of Pakistan’s petition regarding the Punjab elections.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has announced its participation in the sit-in, with party leaders, parliamentarians, and workers expected to join the protest in front of the Supreme Court. A caravan from the PPP’s Lahore chapter has already left for Islamabad, while PML-N activists are scheduled to depart in the morning.
The PPP rally, led by Chaudhry Aslam Gill, expressed concerns about the judiciary’s alleged favoritism towards Imran Khan and held it “equally responsible” for recent acts of violence and arson. PML-N chief organizer Maryam Nawaz Sharif has also arrived in Islamabad to join the sit-in and press Supreme Court Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial to resign, citing his alleged favoritism towards Imran Khan in various cases.