PTI files petition in ECP against Section 144 in Lahore

The PTI appealed to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Sunday over the caretaker Punjab government’s “illegal imposition of Section 144 in Lahore” in advance of its electoral rally there.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced a new rally in Lahore last night, seemingly in defiance of the interim government’s crackdown on the party’s March 8 election rally.

The Punjab interim government immediately after the announcement invoked Section 144 to forbid public gatherings, citing worries following a Pakistan Super League (PSL) match in the city.

PTI leader and attorney Babar Awan stated in a media talk on Sunday morning that a petition had been sent to the Central Secretariat of the election authority in Islamabad protesting the use of Section 144 in Lahore.

The argument claimed that the ECP had already made the province’s election schedule public and given all political parties permission to conduct activities by the law.

However, it pointed out that the Punjab interim government had instructed the Lahore district administration to implement Section 144 in Lahore in flagrant defiance of the code of conduct and pertinent directives to halt the PTI protest there.

“The Punjab Interim Government has employed this fascist strategy twice since the election timetable was announced to prevent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the country’s largest political party, from engaging in political activity.”

Awan asserted that the directives of the Punjab government were illegal, undemocratic, and unlawful.

Insisting that the ECP carry out its constitutional duties, he asserted that the PTI plea had been approved.

Separately, PTI lawmaker Yasmin Rashid declared that the party would also file legal challenges against the application of Section 144 in Lahore with several courts.