Islamabad [Pakistan], May 25 (ANI): Pakistan Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained the present government from arresting Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and allowed PTI to hold a sit-in protest at the H-9 ground area of Islamabad.
The court order came after PTI assured to hold a peaceful protest and there would not be any damage to public and private properties, reported Dawn newspaper.
A three-member bench headed by Pakistan Justice Ijazul Ahsan, and comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi, issued the orders after hearing the petition filed by Islamabad High Court Bar Association (IHCBA) President Mohammad Shoaib Shaheen a day earlier, seeking the removal of blockades in the capital ahead of the PTI's march.
While the court allowed PTI to hold protest at Srinagar Highway, it also directed that the protest must not disrupt the traffic flow and cause any inconvenience to the public, reported Dawn.
"The flow of traffic must not be affected, the citizens must not be bothered, and the protestors should remain peaceful," court statement read.
Besides, the court also instructed the Pakistan authorities to not make unnecessary use of force and restrained them to arrest other PTI leaders and workers or raid their homes and offices. It also ordered the immediate release of detained lawyers as well as those arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Ordinance 1960.
Furthermore, it ordered to return the confiscated automobiles within the last 48 hours to their owners.
"While playing the role of the arbitrator, we pass the order that no raids should be conducted on the homes of PTI workers," the Supreme Court said. "The lawyers on whom there are not serious charges should also be immediately released," quoted Dawn.
Meanwhile, opposing the court's decision, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf said that PTI's request to hold the protest in G-9 area has already been rejected stating that the ground area has the capacity of only 15,000 people whereas Imran's rally will have more people, reported Dawn.
"PTI workers will be in hundreds of thousands, where the JUI-F held its rally had the capacity of only 15,000."
He further said that an eight-member committee comprising four members each from the PTI and the government has been formed.
PTI leader Firdous Ashiq Awan, Faisal Chaudhry, Amir Kiyani and Ali Nawaz will represent the party on the committee, whereas the Shehbaz government has nominated Yousuf Raza Gilani, Ahsan Iqbal, Ayaz Sadiq and Azam Nazeer Tarar, reported Dawn.
Pakistan SC ordered the committee to hold a meeting at 10 pm tonight and adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.
Meanwhile, PTI chief Imran Khan flagged off the protest march towards Islamabad today after which Lahore turned into a battleground as multiple scuffles took place between the police and PTI marchers as the latter tried to wriggle out of the barricades placed on their way.
Khan said that he will not withdraw his call for dharna unless the government accepts his demands of dissolving the assemblies and holding elections. (ANI)