ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday directed Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) and administration and police of federal capital to ensure that the fundamental rights of people would not be infringed due to the 'Azadi' and 'Inqilab' marches.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah directed Acting Chief Commissioner Islamabad Mujahid Sherdil to meet Chairman PTI Imran Khan and PAT Chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri and discuss with them the situation for the protection of fundamental rights of the citizens.

He also directed the administration to set up a 'helpline' to help the people who are facing problems while moving in the restricted areas.

The IHC bench issued these directions while conducting the initial hearing of a petition of president of traders association of the federal capital.

During the hearing of the petition, Justice Athar observed that life of citizens had become difficult due to 'Azadi' and 'Inqilab' marches.

The bench also observed that the fundamental rights, including right of trade, right of movement, education, protection of life and property and travelling abroad have been disturbed badly as a result of this situation.

In the beginning, petitioner's counsel Ikram Chaudhry Advocate contended before the court that the government should have not given permission to both parties to hold their sit-ins at Aabpara and Khayaban-i-Suharwardi.

He argued that the protestors should have been given an area in the outskirts of federal capital if permission to these parties was essential. Therefore, the counsel prayed to the court to direct the local administration to remove containers and barriers from the main roads enabling the citizens to move freely for their routine business.

Hearing the matter, Justice Athar summoned Additional Advocate General (AAG) Tariq Mehmood Khokhar to know the stance of the federal government on the petition.

Khokhar informed the court that the contention of the petitioner with regard to grant of permission to political parties at a specified location was reasonable and the government would seriously consider it.

He said that this is the case of competing fundamental rights. Then, the court summoned acting Chief Commissioner Islamabad Mujahid Sherdil and deferred the matter for a short period.

Later, IHC bench resumed hearing of the petition after the acting Chief Commissioner Sherdil appeared before the court.

At this juncture, Justice Athar remarked that the recent activities in the capital have brought it to a standstill. The citizens cannot go to important public departments. The students and others who intend to travel abroad have also been struck.

Therefore, the court directed the chief commissioner Islamabad to meet PTI and PTA chiefs to discuss the measures for protecting the fundamental rights of the citizen.

Justice Minallah also directed him that being head of the local administration he was duty bound to protect the fundamental rights of assembly and speech of the protestors.

Then, Justice Minallah directed the local administration to submit a report in this connection and deferred the hearing till August 25 (Monday) for further proceedings in this matter.