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.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, while hearing the case, directed the capital city administration to ensure smooth running of daily business in Islamabad on Nov 2.
The administration should ensure that hospital, schools and markets remain open on the day and no containers are placed to block roads, the court said.
“We will not let rights of citizens be violated,” Justice Siddiqui remarked.
He asked the administration to inform the PTI about the restriction of holding protests in democracy (parade) ground.
The court directed government authorities to follow the legal course in case the protest is held 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 which sought orders for the PTI to withdraw its decision to shut down Islamabad. The petitions also sought immediate arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan who was declared absconder by an anti-terrorist court.
The court issued orders to summon the PTI Chief 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.
‘Only judiciary is the third umpire’
In his remarks, Justice Siddiqui expressed displeasure over Imran Khan’s lockdown plans 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.
In an apparent reference to the army, Imran Khan had said earlier this weekthat only Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be responsible if democracy was derailed and a ‘third power’ stepped in as a result of the Islamabad lockdown on Nov 2.
He further said that the government has been paralysed and the administration and police are busy in only holding meetings.
Chief commission Zulfiqar Babar, Inspector General of Police (IG) Islamabad Tariq Masood, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Islamabad Sajid Kiyani were present during the hearing.
Section 144 imposed
Meanwhile, the District Magistrate of Islamabad Capt (retd) Mushtaq Ahmed imposed Section 144 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC) in the city.
The carrying and display of weapons has been prohibited under Section 144.
“No person other than the members of armed forces, civilian law enforcement agencies, Rangers and police on duty shall carry firearms or display firearms within the revenue/territorial limits of district Islamabad,” said the notification issued by the magistrate’s office.