LHC turns down traders’ request to halt PTI’s march

Judge says ever political party has the right to protest

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday rejected the traders’ plea to immediately halt the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) ongoing long march towards Islamabad.

LHC judge Justice Jawad Hassan heard the plea filed by Anjuman Tajran Pakistan Supreme Council Chairman Naeem Mir against the PTI’s long march.

In its petition, Mir stated that he feared there would be anarchy in the country if Imran Khan was not barred from holding the march. “The constitution does not allow anybody to disrupt commercial activities and peace,” read the petition. The traders are in danger due to the public rallies and long marches, he added. At the outset of the hearing, the judge observed that every political party had the right to record its protest and the court had already issued a verdict in Minar-e-Pakistan public gathering case. Subsequently, the court refused to issue interim order against the PTI long march and directed the respondents to submit a reply by November 14.

The PTI on Thursday resumed its long march from the same spot in Wazirabad where party chief Imran Khan was injured during an attempt on his life. PTI’s Haqeeqi Azadi (real freedom) march, which demanded early and fair elections, was brought to an abrupt halt after Imran was shot in the leg during the procession.

Meanwhile, the Rawalpindi bench of the LHC expressed annoyance over the mismanagement of the Rawalpindi administration, closing off roads and shutting down educational intuitions.

While hearing a petition filed by a citizen, Raja Khalid Mehmood, against the closure of roads and educational institutions due to the PTI protests at different places in Rawalpindi, Justice Waqas Rauf Mirza remarked that roads and educational institutions had been closed and the administration was sleeping. The court asked the Rawalpindi commissioner why he was acting as a facilitator for those who blocked the roads. The bench adjourned the hearing until November 16 and directed him to submit a written statement of action against the people responsible for it.

IHC summons official

On the other hand, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) summoned the officials of the Ministry of Interior in a personal capacity over a petition against the closure of roads due to a proposed PTI sit-in in the federal capital. The court of IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq heard the case filed by the president of All Traders Welfare Association Islamabad against the proposed PTI sit-in. During the hearing of the case, the court directed that the officer of the joint secretary level of the Ministry of Interior should appear. Sardar Umar Aslam Advocate appeared on behalf of the petitioners while Deputy Attorney General Azmat Bashir Tarar appeared in the court on behalf of the federal government.

The court summoned the Interior Ministry official and adjourned the hearing of the case until Monday.

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