PTI supporters attend a party rally in Charsadda. — AFP/File
PTI supporters attend a party rally in Charsadda. — AFP/File
  • Authorities had refused granting permission over security concerns.
  • “One’s right of assembly cannot be taken away: CJ Farooq.
  • He asks PTI to make sure power show isn’t marred by commotion.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday directed authorities in the federal capital to grant permission to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to hold a public gathering in the city.

“One’s right of assembly cannot be taken away,” IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq said while hearing PTI’s petition seeking the court’s permission to hold a public rally in Islamabad against alleged rigging and election result manipulation in the February 8 polls.

The judge’s remarks come after the district administration had turned down PTI’s request, filed by party leader Aamir Mughal, for the power show on March 30 citing “law and order” concerns.

Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Irfan Nawaz Memon, when contacted, said that the application of PTI leadership had been denied over serious security issues, reported The News.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Akbar Nasir had also earlier warned the PTI to avoid holding rallies without getting lawful permission from the concerned authorities or else face stringent action.

During today’s hearing, IHC CJ Farooq underscored that public gatherings are for everyone and directed the authorities to finalise the terms and conditions with the PTI regarding the public gathering.

To this, the government’s counsel complained that the party had violated previous agreements with the administration.

“Do not impose unusual conditions. Allow them [to hold the public gathering] as per the standard terms of reference,” the chief justice responded.

Furthermore, attending the hearing PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat said that the party now wishes to hold a public gathering on April 6 — instead of March 30.

“Life doesn’t come to a halt,” CJ Farooq further said while responding to the government’s lawyer’s contention regarding Tuesday’s terrorist attack that killed six people including five Chinese engineers in Shangla, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Upon this, the state counsel asked for time to respond after getting directions, to which the judge stressed that he had the authority to decide on the matter and that he wasn’t seeking the former’s consent.

Speaking to the PTI lawyer, CJ Farooq said that they should ensure that the public gathering remains free of commotion and any sort of vandalism.

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