Lahore: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday barred the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from holding a public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday [March 19].
“If you want to hold public gathering then seek permission 15 days before it,” Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh of the LHC observed while hearing a plea against police operation in Zaman Park.
Justice Sheikh also remarked that the PSL matches were also being played in Lahore, and therefore, the PTI should hold Minar-e-Pakistan gathering at some other day.
“You can hold it before or after Sunday,” observed Justice Sheikh while addressing the counsel of PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary.
“Where is the petitioner? Why he is not here at 10:00 am,” the judge further remarked, expressing annoyance over the attitude of PTI leader Fawad Chaudhary who later turned up before the court.
The judge also directed the PTI leaders to consult with the Chief Secretary and Inspector General of Police to hold public gathering.
The lawyer representing the PTI leader argued that all other political parties were holding public gatherings but the PTI was facing hurdles. He told the court that Section 144 could not be imposed after the issuance of election schedule.
Fawad Chaudhary filed the petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the police operation and submitted that taking out rallies was their right but the authorities launched police operation and imposed Section 144 in the provincial capital. The government barred the PTI from its political activities, they added. They asked the court to stop the authorities concerned from operation against the PTI leaders and workers and allow them to hold their rallies and continue their political activities.
Later, talking to the reporters, Fawad Chaudhary said that the court directed them to hold talks with the government administration.
“We have no issue in holding talks with the government,” said Fawad Chaudhary, pointing out that they wanted peace so they could continue their political activities. He said that the government was using all these tactics to divert the public attention from the real issues like inflation. The petrol prices, he said, were increased. Fawad Chaudhary also criticized the Election Commission of Pakistan for not taking serious steps to hold general elections.
He also came down hard upon Nawaz Sharif, saying that the PML-N supremo committed fraud and went to London while Maryam Nawaz helped him in this regard.
“We had confirmed information that Imran Khan would be attacked,” said Fawad Chaudhary, adding that the PTI Chief could not go to court in F-8 in Islamabad due to attack for this reason.
On March 13, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had announced to hold public gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan.