ISLAMABAD - The apex court was moved against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-announced capital lockdown on Wednesday.

Advocate Tariq Asad, the petitioner, has requested the Supreme Court (SC) to direct the federal government to restrain the opposition party from staging a sit-in on the grounds that the move will be prejudicial to public order and security.

PTI Chairperson Imran Khan has given a call to his party workers to assemble in the capital on November 2 to protest what he has called delay in initiation of an inquiry against the ruling family for allegedly maintaining illegal offshore accounts as reported in the Panama leaks.

Asad has filed the application under Order 33 Rule 6 of the Supreme Court Rules and has made Ministry of Interior secretary and PTI chairperson as respondents.

The petitioner has stated that that Islamabad was not the “personal estate” of the PTI chairperson, that he could lockdown and that the residents of the capital were not his “slaves”.

The petition further states that the PTI leader cannot “torture” his workers by calling them from all over Pakistan, and make their lives “miserable” and deprive them of their livelihoods.

The petitioner has argued that the capital lockdown will lead to closure of educational institutes and will hurt students.

It has been argued that the lockdown will result in restraining public and private sector employees from reaching their work places.

He said that no doubt the citizens under Article 16 of the Constitution had the right to assemble, but it was “not an unguided and unrestricted right”.

Asad had contended that the rights under Article 16 were under reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order.

He said from Imran Khan’s speech it appeared that the sit-in and lockdown might not be peaceful.

The threat to lockdown Islamabad is prejudicial to public order, the petitioner has stated.

“Right of assembly also does not guarantee the right of demonstration or sit-in in an unlawful manner, which may create violation of the fundamental rights of other citizens not participating in the illegal pursuit to block roads and [depriving the general public] the right of movement,” the petition reads.

“The business of all the traders and businessmen large or small would come to [a] standstill,” the advocate has argued.

He said that Khan’s public speeches since the last general elections, concerning the role of the superior judiciary and the Election Commission of Pakistan, undermined public confidence in the administration of justice and tantamount to contempt of court.

Asad said the federal government had the power under Article 245 to call armed forces in Aid of Civil Power in case there was an apprehension that the civil authorities and law enforcement agencies were not able to maintain peace and order in certain area or areas of Pakistan.

“Moreover there is no threat of military control under Article 245 of the Constitution as interpreted by the apex court in Liaqat Hussain case (PLD 1999 SC 504),” the petition states.