LHC stops PTI from holding rally on Sunday at Minar-e-Pakistan

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan (right) addresses his supporters during an anti-government march towards Islamabad in Gujranwala on November 1, 2022. — AFP
  • The court said that neither the LHC nor the IHC had stayed the execution of Khan’s warrant.
  • All these problems arose because the law was not read: Lahore High Court.
  • “For God’s sake, let people live their normal lives,” the court added.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday restrained the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from holding a rally at Iqbal Park (Minar Pakistan) on Sunday and asked the party to let citizens lead their normal lives.

The party was planning to hold a “historic” public rally. Lahore Minar Pakistan on March 19 And PTI chairman Imran Khan was drafted in to lead it despite “security threats”.

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry had approached the High Court a day ago to stop the police operation in Zaman Park area. Police took action and arrested Khan Tosha Khana case According to court orders.

After the preliminary hearing, the High Court ordered the police. Operation suspended till 10 am today – which helped calm the situation at the former prime minister’s residence which had turned into a battleground.

But when Justice Tariq Saleem Shaikh resumed the hearing today, he noted that neither the LHC nor the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had restrained law enforcement agencies from executing the ousted prime minister’s arrest warrant.

PTI activists clashed for about 24 hours and law enforcement tried to go through party supporters and arrest Khan, who was ousted as prime minister last April.

Several people — mostly police — were injured after law enforcement fired tear gas and party supporters threw Molotov cocktails.

The legal proceedings against Khan began after he was ousted in a parliamentary vote early last year. Since then, he has held nationwide protest rallies calling for early elections, during one of which he was shot and wounded.

Today’s hearing

As the hearing continued, Justice Salim said he “does not find any problem” in the situation, but noted that none of the parties involved in the case had read the law.

“All these problems have arisen because the law has not been read,” he said, adding that today, “we will all read the law together”. He said both sides had “jammed the system”.

Justice Saleem reprimanded the PTI counsel and said that the matter is of Khan’s warrant and the party keeps knocking the door of both IHC and LHC. “You don’t know where to apply. We just have to follow the law in this matter.”

As soon as Fawad entered the courtroom, the judge told him that his party was not following the law. “You [people] has pushed the nation into misery.”

On this, the PTI leader told the court that it becomes difficult for the party chief when he has to appear in four courts later. “We are 100 percent sure about the attack on Imran Khan and that is why we requested his presence in the hearings through video link.”

The judge then said that there is a proper procedure for a person to get security and emphasized that the party “must bring itself within the fold of the system”.

The judge then criticized the party for not planning its public rally ahead of time and said that if they wanted to hold a rally, they should have started preparations 15 days in advance.

“For God’s sake, let people live their normal lives. You won’t have a meeting this Sunday. Even if someone gets married, they plan ahead,” he said.

The judge then asked the party leader to sit down with the authorities and resolve the issue. The judge remarked that “we are being embarrassed as a nation,” asking the PTI to reschedule its rally once again.

Punjab Advocate General Shaun Gill then told the judge that the IHC order had also been issued. Advocate General said that there is no need for this hearing.

On this, Justice Salim said that I did not touch the arrest warrant. “Neither the Lahore High Court nor the Islamabad High Court stayed the execution of the arrest warrant”.

After which the court adjourned the hearing till 11 am tomorrow.

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