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LHC prohibits PTI from holding rally on Sunday at Minar-e-Pakistan

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  • Neither LHC nor IHC stopped execution of Khan’s warrants, court says.
  • Court also stops police’s operation at Zaman Park till tomorrow.
  • “For God’s sake, let the people live their routine lives,” court adds.

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) Thursday stopped the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from holding a rally this Sunday at Iqbal Park (Minar-e-Pakistan) and asked the party to let citizens live their routine lives.

The party was planning to hold a “historic” public rally at Lahore’s Minar-e-Pakistan on March 19 and PTI Chairman Imran Khan was set to lead it — despite “security threats”.

PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry had moved the high court a day earlier seeking to stop the police operation in the Zaman Park area. The police had taken action to arrest Khan in the Toshakhana case as per court orders.

After an initial hearing, the high court had ordered police to suspend the operation till 10am today — which helped calm the situation at the former prime minister’s residence which had turned into a battleground.

But today, when Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh resumed the hearing, he noted that neither the LHC nor the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had stopped the law enforcers from executing the deposed prime minister’s arrest warrants.

In the order issued later, the court said that the “order passed yesterday” shall remain enforced till the next hearing — meaning that the Zaman Park operation has been halted till tomorrow. 

PTI workers clashed for nearly 24 hours with the law enforcers trying to get through the party supporters and arrest Khan, who was voted out as the prime minister last April.

Scores of people — mostly police personnel — were injured in the process as the law enforcers fired teargas and party supporters resorted to throwing Molotov cocktails.

Legal proceedings against Khan began after he was ousted from office in a parliamentary vote early last year. Since then, he has held nationwide protest rallies demanding a snap election, during one of which he was shot and wounded.

Today’s hearing

As the hearing was underway, Justice Saleem said that he does not “find any issue” in the situation, but noted that neither of the parties involved in the case has read the law.

“All of these issues have arisen because the law was not read,” he said, adding that today, “all of us will read the law together”. He said that both sides have “jammed the system”.

Justice Saleem reprimanded the PTI counsel and said that the issue is of Khan’s warrants and the party keeps knocking on the doors of both IHC and LHC. “You are unaware of where you have to plead. We just have to follow the law in this case.”

As Fawad entered the courtroom, the judge told him that his party was not following the law. “You [people] have pushed the nation into suffering.”

At this, the PTI leader told the court that when the party chief has to appear before four courts subsequently, it becomes hard for him. “We are 100% sure about an attack on Imran Khan and that is why we had requested his presence at hearings via video link.”

The judge then said that there is a proper procedure for seeking security for a person and stressed that the party should bring “itself inside the system’s ambit”.

The judge then slammed the party for not planning its public gathering ahead of time and said that if they wanted to hold a jalsa, then the preparations should have begun 15 days prior.

“For God’s sake, let the people live their routine lives. Your rally will not take place this Sunday. Even if a person gets married, they plan ahead,” he said.

The judge then asked the party leader to sit down with authorities and sort out the issue. “We are being embarrassed as a nation,” the judge remarked, asking the PTI to once again reschedule its rally.

Punjab Advocate General Shan Gul then told the judge that IHC’s order has also been issued. The advocate general said that there is no need for this hearing.

At this, Justice Saleem said that he has not touched the arrest warrants. “Neither the Lahore High Court nor the Islamabad High Court stopped from executing the arrest warrants.”

The court then adjourned the hearing till 11am tomorrow.

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The PML-N session regarding the Supreme Court’s verdict on reserved seats has been postponed.

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The PML-N session, which was planned for today and involved the party’s leaders, has been postponed. This decision was made as party president Nawaz Sharif engaged in extensive discussions with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and CM Maryam Nawaz on the issue, according to sources.

Consultations were also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar. According to sources, the group extensively deliberated on all facets of the highest court’s ruling regarding reserved seats.

The party leaders’ scheduled consultation session for today has been postponed due to Muharram.

Nawaz Sharif has personally engaged in consultations with party leaders, conducting meetings with certain individuals and maintaining telephonic communication with others to deliberate on different possibilities about the situation.

PML-N leaders have voiced their concerns with the ruling and have called for a parliamentary response.

According to party insiders, a consultative conference of the PML-N will be called in Lahore in the near future.

According to sources, Shehbaz Sharif would provide a detailed explanation of the future plan to the People’s Party and other partners of his government.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) achieved a significant legal triumph as the Supreme Court of Pakistan reversed the decision to deny reserved seats to the PTI-supported Sunni Ittehad Council.

The Supreme Court issued a divided ruling with an 8-5 split on a petition filed by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) about the allotment of special seats.

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PTI received unwelcome respite, according to Rana Sanaullah

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In the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) reserved seat dispute, the government would respect the majority ruling of the Supreme Court, according to PMLN senior leader and advisor on political affairs Rana Sanaullah Khan.

He stated that after examining the decision, the government’s legal team would react appropriately. According to Rana Sanaullah, the legal team would determine whether or not to submit a review petition.

“SIC petitions were rejected but PTI was given that relief which was neither asked in the petition nor contest during the proceeding,” asserted Rana Sanaullah in response to the ruling.

He argued that because parties established administrations with a simple majority, the PMLN-led unity movement did not have a two-thirds majority.

According to Rana Sanaullah, PTI should challenge election tribunal rulings, with the government carrying out the rulings.

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The membership of Sher Afzal Marwat has been suspended by PTI.

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According to sources, PTI officials convened with imprisoned party founder Imran Khan on Thursday to make a decision over Marwat.

The party authorities alleged that Sher Afzal Marwat had been consistently breaching party discipline over the past month.

“In the meeting with Imran Khan, it was mutually agreed that no leader holds a superior position within the party, and any other leaders who deviate from the party’s stance will face similar consequences,” they stated.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has recently issued a show-cause notice to Sher Afzal Marwat due to his irresponsible utterances.

The notice, issued by PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan, requires Marwat to provide an explanation for his utterances within a three-day period. These statements have been considered harmful to the party’s reputation.

The notification declares that making such utterances goes against the party’s code of conduct and contravenes the explicit directives of the party’s founder, Imran Khan, who has underscored the significance of accountable conduct.

Marwat was cautioned that if they fail to react or offer a satisfactory explanation, it could result in additional disciplinary measures.

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