Let PTI hold protest: SC directs Islamabad chief commissioner to provide alternate site for long march
- Responds to petition asking it to direct authorities to unblock roads and not create hindrance in movement of citizens
The Supreme Court (SC) directed on Wednesday the Islamabad chief commissioner to provide an alternate site to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for its long march, saying "let the PTI hold its protest and then go home".
The SC took up a petition on Wednesday seeking removal of roadblocks and barricades for the residents of Islamabad ahead of PTI's long march planned for today, which the government has said it wants to prevent.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi took up the petition and summoned the interior secretary, Islamabad's chief commissioner, deputy commissioner, inspector general of police and advocate general to appear in the court this afternoon.
Islamabad High Court Bar Association's (IHCBA) President Muhammad Shoaib Shaheen had filed the petition on Tuesday under Article 184(3) of the Constitution and named the federal secretary, ministry of interior and the chief secretaries of all the provinces as respondents.
The petition asks the SC to direct authorities to unblock roads/highways and not to create hindrance in the movement of the citizens in any part of the country. It also wants the court to restrain state agencies and institutions from taking any unconstitutional and illegal action or harass citizens in any manner.
The petitioner maintained that it has been reported in the press that citizens including advocates, parliamentarians and suspected protestors as well as the workers of one political party are being arrested and harassed without any reasonable and lawful justification and violating the fundamental rights of the citizens, which is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced on Tuesday that the government will not allow the PTI its long march.
"Imran Khan wants to divide the nation," the interior minister claimed, adding that the PTI chairman directed his party members during rallies to call people from other parties "robbers and traitors".
Sanaullah said PTI's proposed long march has nothing to do with democratic norms as the party wants to spread anarchy. He said the entire leadership of the PTI is present in Peshawar from where it is planning to invade the federal capital by utilizing forces and resources of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Red Zone sealed ahead of PTI march
Ahead of the march, the district administration sealed off the Red Zone through shipping containers and barbed wires which house the Parliament House, Prime Minister’s House, the Supreme Court, Diplomatic Enclave, Pak Secretariat, and other buildings except for the lone entry/exit point on the Margalla Road.
On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had restrained the government from "harassing" PTI members.
IHC Chief Justice (CJ) Athar Minallah took up PTI's petition to restrain the government from creating hurdles in the way of its long march on Islamabad, planned for May 25.
The IHC has issued notices to the Islamabad inspector general of police, chief commissioner, and deputy commissioner in this regard.