The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday ordered the capital administration not to place any containers or block roads during the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)’s scheduled “lockdown” of Islamabad on November 2.
The court directed government authorities to follow the legal course in case of protest anywhere in the capital other than the designated spot called “Democracy Park and Speech Corner”.
The space was designated by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in 2014 for political activities such as sit-ins and protests.
The court issued the directions while hearing four petitions, seeking the PTI to withdraw its decision to lockdown Islamabad. The petitions also sought immediate arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan who was declared absconder by an anti-terrorist court.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, while hearing the case, issued orders to summon PTI Chief Imran Khan in person on Oct 31. He also directed Pemra authorities to produce records of Khan’s speeches in which he announced plans to shut down Islamabad on Nov 2.
In his remarks, Justice Siddiqui expressed displeasure over Imran Khan’s announcements and the administration’s behaviour.
Under which law, the judge asked, has Imran Khan has been announcing plans to shut down Islamabad on Nov 2.
“Only Judiciary is the third umpire,” he remarked.
He further said that the government has been paralysed and the administration and police are busy in only holding meetings.
Justice Siddiqui directed the capital city administration to ensure smooth running of daily business in Islamabad on Nov 2. Hospital, schools, markets will remain open on the day, he said, adding that no container should be placed on roads on Nov 2.
We will not let rights violation of any citizen happen, he vowed.
He asked the administration to inform the PTI about the restriction of holding protests in democracy (parade) ground.
Chief commission Zulfiqar Babar, Inspector General of Police, Islamabad Tariq Masood, Senior Superintendent of Police, Islamabad Sajid Kiyani were present during the hearing.