During a hearing on review petitions against a ruling on the 2017 Faizabad sit-in, Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa expressed his belief that all institutions in the country, including the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), are not independent. The review petitions were filed against the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Faizabad dharna case in 2019. The case had caused great inconvenience to the public and the judgment had criticized various government departments for their handling of the sit-in. Many of the petitioners, including the government, withdrew their pleas in the previous hearing. The government has since formed a fact-finding committee to ensure compliance with the 2019 judgment. The committee held its first meeting on October 26 and is expected to submit its report by December 1. Former Pemra chairman, Absar Alam, submitted a statement alleging media coercion during the dharna. The hearing raised questions about the legality and effectiveness of the committee, with the chief justice expressing concern that it may be an “eyewash” and that the terms of reference were not specific enough. The review petitions also included requests to set aside adverse observations made against the Intelligence Bureau and the armed forces by the court. The hearing highlighted concerns about the independence of institutions and the need to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution.
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