Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa Thursday expressed annoyance after multiple petitioners seeking a review of the Supreme Court’s 2019 verdict against the Faizabad sit-in decided to withdraw their pleas. “Why everyone is so scared?,” the chief justice remarked, as a three-member bench – comprising Athar Minallah and Justice Aminuddin Khan – heard the review pleas. Multiple pleas were filed challenging the verdict on the Faizabad sit-in staged by the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) in 2017 against the then Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government. CJP Isa, who was a member of the three-member bench that issued the 2019 verdict, also expressed annoyance over the non-implementation of the years-old order. The chief justice told the parties seeking to withdraw their pleas – the federal government, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, the Election Commission of Pakistan, and others – to submit their responses in writing and explain the reasons behind their decision. “I am surprised over the petitioners request to call back their petitions,” the CJP remarked, noting that he wanted to give time to the petitioners as he adjourned the hearing till November 1. Briefly, before adjourning the hearing, the CJP told the parties that their decision to withdraw their pleas meant that they had accepted the SC’s order to be true. “Now is your chance to stand with the truth.” The Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Mansoor Awan also read out the SC decision on Faizabad sit-in in the courtroom. “After this [Faizabad] sit-in, many other similar incidents came to light,” the CJP said adding that had the court’s verdict been implemented back then other incidents would not have taken place. “We will move in the right direction by implementing the 17 directions highlighted in the judgment,” the AGP assured. The attorney general requested the court to adjourn the hearing for two months. To this, CJP said that “two months is a very long time”.AGP Awan then said, “give a month to let you know about the progress”. Presenting his arguments to the court, AGP Awan said that the federal government does not want to pursue this case. “Why do you want to withdraw this case now?” CJP inquired from the AGP. “It was said that the previous verdict had flaws in it. Now provide a reason for withdrawing this case,” he added. AGP Awan said that the ruling party was different when the review petition was filed. “Why did you not file a written plea?” CJP Isa asked the attorney general. To which, the latter replied that he was giving his statement. Likewise, Pemra’s counsel Hafiz Ahsan sought withdrawal of the plea saying the media regulatory body did not want to pursue the case. At this, CJP Isa asked on whose instructions is the plea being withdrawn. Similarly, the apex court allowed Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed to hire new counsel after the court was told that his lawyer was appointed as provincial minister. PTI lawyer Ali Zafar also told the court that the party did not want to pursue the matter. “Do you have the authority to take back the petition?” CJP Isa asked. “If you want to become a respondent, the court will allow you.” To this, advocate Zafar replied, “No, we do not want to become a respondent in this case.” The court further directed petitioner Ejazul Haq to submit an affidavit that he has reservations over the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) report on the Faizabad report. “I was termed as an irresponsible politician in the judgment. I did not speak in favour of the sit-in,” Haq told the court. CJP Isa observed: “Your name was mentioned in the ISI report. We did not write anyone’s name as an irresponsible political leader.” “You should submit your affidavit,” the court directed Haq’s lawyer. Earlier today, the federal government filed an application in the Supreme Court to withdraw its plea against the verdict.