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LHC bars PTI from Islamabad lockdown, orders govt to remove containers

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday barred the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf from lockown of Islamabad, and also ordered the government to remove containers and other impediments placed across the city.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Shahid Hameed Dar heard several applications over the Islamabad lockdown. The court in its verdict barred the PTI from holding any sit-in or rallies in the federal capital. The court stated that protesters cannot even go near sensitive installations and other restricted areas of the city.

The court also ordered the government to remove all containers and other impediments placed across Islamabad and Rawalpindi, as it has restricted free movement of people which is a violation of their basic right.

The court called on the government and the PTI to refrain from the display of power, and find a amicable solution which does not hamper the lives and activities of ordinary citizens. It also said that both parties show display patience and not turn the federal capital into a political arena.

According to the court, the patriotism of Imran Khan is not being questioned but any attempt to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means is tantamount to treason. The court instructed both parties to reduce hostilities and refrain from incitement as it against the interests of the nation.

The court was informed that the Police has arrested several workers of the PTI and the PAT on political grounds, and had barged into homes to arrest women and resorted to violence and harassment.

The Home Secretary told the court that the details were not present available about the arrests of their activists. The court while seeking complete details adjourned proceedings till 2nd November.

Imposition of Section 144

The LHC sought replies from the Punjab government over the imposition of Section 144 across the provinces. The three member bench headed by Justice Shahid Hameed Dar heard separate applications filed by Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly and PTI leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed, PAT, and the Judicial Activism Panel.

The applicants stated that government has imposed Section 144 over the scheduled protest on 2nd November in Islamabad, which was later extended across the province.

It stated that while the law which bars the assembly of more then five people in public was constitutional, it was imposed with malafide intentions to deprive the PTI from peaceful protests which was their democratic right enshrined in the constitution.

Therefore, the imposition of Section 144 was deemed unconstitutional. It called on the court to declare the imposition illegal and declare the notification as null and void. The court sought replies from the government of Punjab and adjourned further proceedings.



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