Responding to the petition by IHCBA President Mohammad Shoaib Shaheen regarding the removal of blockades in Islamabad before the PTI’s march, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday directed the Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf to seek instructions from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over the PTI’s demands. A three-member bench including Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi issued the said directive.
PTI lawyer Babar Awan told the court that his party had applied for the permission to hold a march on May 23. He requested the apex court to issue directives to the government for lifting the blockades and releasing the arrested PTI workers. Justice Ahsan observed that a lack of communication existed between the two sides (government and the PTI).
Babar Awan told the court that the party chairman had established a four-member committee for talks with the administration including Babar Awan, Faisal Chaudhry, Amir Kiyani and Ali Nawaz Awan. He requested the apex court to permit the PTI for staging a protest at Srinagar Highway.
Awan mentioned that they wanted to conduct the protest at the point where where the JUI-F held a sit-in twice in the past when they (PTI) were in power. He assured that court that their march would be peaceful in all aspects. Babar Awan also urged the court to stop the authorities from shelling the tear gas on the protesters.
Prime Minister wants to settle the matter outside the court, Attorney General told the court
The attorney general assured the court that the PM would soon form a team to negotiate with the PTI. He added that Shahbaz Sharif wanted to settle the political matters outside the court.
Earlier in the day, the SC directed the Islamabad chief commissioner to provide the PTI with an alternate site for its march and sketch a traffic plan so that the protesters might reach the designated place. Justic Ahsan urged the government to remove barriers and let the PTI protest so that they might return back to their homes. Justice Ahsan also asked the PTI lawyer to assure the court for a peaceful march with no damage, torture or violence.
Interests of political parties come next to the country and the people, Supreme Court observed
He also instructed PTI’s lawyer Faisal Chaudhry to come to the negotiating table to amicably settle the matter of conducting march in the capital city. The court also directed authorities to ensure complete protection of PTI leaders for talks. The court moreover asked the PTI representatives to provide a list of PTI leaders so that the court might protect them from getting arrested. He added that the interests of said political parties stood next to the country and the people.
The Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf categorically briefed the Supreme Court that the government did not permit the PTI to hold its Azadi March on Islamabad’s Srinagar Highway as the agencies had reports of threats to the PTI chairman Imran Khan.
Justice Ahsan asked the AGP to concentrate on the original issue and answer if the police were conducting raids and arresting PTI leaders and workers or not. Justice Naqvi asked the interior secretary if he was ready to take the burden of what was happening in the whole country to which the latter replied that the law and order situation was the province’s domain.