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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

SC rejects govt’s request to stop PTI long march

The Supreme Court turned down the government's plea for orders to immediately stop PTI's long march to the federal capital.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court denied the government’s request for an intervention to stop PTI’s long march into the federal capital.

In order to prevent PTI from marching to Islamabad during the hearing of the government‘s request for contempt proceedings against former PM Imran Khan, the assistant attorney general of Pakistan has asked the highest court to issue a directive. The PTI chair was accused of violating the court’s order by making announcements about marching toward Islamabad, according to a petition filed by the interior ministry on behalf of the government.

According to the administration, who cited the Supreme Court’s directives, Khan was only permitted to stage peaceful protests; however, the chairman of the PTI is now warning of a “invasion.”

Today’s hearing was conducted before a five-judge panel presided by Chief Justice of Pakistan Bandial and including Justices Ijaz ul Ahsan, Munib Akhtar, Yahya Afridi, and Sayyed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi.

The hearing

The reports of the police and intelligence organisations have been evaluated, according to Additional Attorney General Aamir Rahman’s remarks during the hearing.

According to the second attorney general, the court had initially inquired as to when the PTI leader had issued a call for the long march. According to him, the court order was issued on May 25 at 6 o’clock in the evening, and Khan made his first announcement at 6:50 p.m. and his second at 9:54 p.m.

“The PTI had requested to stage a sit-in at the Srinagar Highway,” he said. “Khan had also announced to go to D-Chowk even before the court order.”

Rahman claimed that afterwards PTI leaders Fawad Chaudhary, Shireen Mazari, Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, Usman Dar, Shahbaz Gill, and Saifullah Niazi also called on party members to report at D chowk. The court also requested Khan’s response to the plea for launching a contempt case against him.

“From Khan’s statement, it seems like he was informed about the court’s orders as he said that the SC ordered removing barricades,” the CJP remarked as he summoned the PTI chairman to clarify before the court who said what.

Referring to the conclusion of the PTI’s long march at Jinnah Avenue on May 26, Rehman said that Khan’s most recent request to travel to D-chowk constituted a violation of the court’s order.

“Khan crossed the restricted area H9 and reached Blue Area where he ended the rally,” he said.

According to the additional attorney general, PTI attorneys Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhry gave the court their word that they would stay out of the restricted area. Following this, CJP Bandial stated that since Rehman’s argument had some merit, it would be best to have a response from those who had provided assurance.

Justice Bandial stated at the hearing that Khan should provide an answer because the reports had sufficient support.

Read More: Islamabad long march to begin from Lahore on Friday: Imran Khan

“Even if a notice is served, it is not necessary for Khan to appear,” he said.

The court merely wants the rule of law to triumph, the chief justice continued, not to grab headlines. When a show-cause notice in a civil contempt action is served, he continued, “one needs to appear.”

According to Justice Yahya, the court cannot request a response from anyone without prior notification. The PTI leader should respond in light of these reports, according to the court, which also ordered to provide Khan access to the police, ISI, and IB reports.

Babar Awan and Faisal Chaudhary, attorneys representing the former PM, were also questioned by the Supreme Court.

“We are not issuing notice as of yet,” said the CJP, adding that a notice would give an impression that the proceedings have started.

Meanwhile, in accordance with the earlier divergent note, Justice Yahya served a show-cause notice on Khan. The PTI chairman and his attorneys must provide an answer by October 31 per the court’s direction. The hearing was postponed until October 31 by the court.