ISLAMABAD - A deputy commissioner (DC) of Islamabad Friday assured the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that no political worker or member of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) would be arrested without prior permission of the district or additional district magistrate.

The federal capital administration gave this assurance before a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah who was hearing a civil miscellaneous application of PTI leader Asad Umar who had filed it in another pending writ petition of PTI leader Jehangir Tareen, challenging the imposition of section 144 in the Islamabad capital territory (ICT).

In this matter, the DC submitted a report before the court stating, “No citizen or Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) worker will be arrested under section 188 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) in pursuance of section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) without prior permission of the district magistrate/additional district magistrate.”

The DC said that earlier on the orders of an IHC bench, the DC office and the PTI leaders had agreed upon mutual SOPs. The same SOPs shall be implemented to ensure that no one may be deprived of his/her liberties in accordance with law.

The DC office submitted before the IHC that it is mutually agreed upon by the PTI and the DC office that the Red Zone, Constitution Avenue and state buildings within the Red Zone shall be secured by the ICT administration by placing containers at the entrance of Red Zone.

In its civil miscellaneous application, the PTI had also raised its concerns over the arrests/harassment of PTI workers. Addressing to this concern, the DC office said that not a single person so far had been arrested for the violation of section 144 in ICT.

 The DC office told the court that it was mutually agreed upon between the district administration and PTI that the person nominated or connected with the registered FIRs shall be proceeded against by the ICT police as per law. It was further agreed upon that no citizen shall be deprived of his/her right of liberty in violation of law.

On Thursday last, the PTI leadership negotiated with the district management in the light of IHC orders. The same IHC bench had directed the PTI leaders to discuss their issues with the district administration and then they could come to the court if their apprehensions were not addressed.

The IHC bench had noted in its orders, “The district magistrate shall ensure that the fundamental rights of every citizen including the applicants (PTI) be protected.”

During the hearing, the court directed the district magistrate Islamabad to remain in contact with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the implementation on the SOPs.

An official of the DC office Mushtaq Ahmed submitted a report pertaining to a meeting between the administration and PTI.

The report stated that permission had been granted to the PTI to hold public gathering in Islamabad and venue for the gathering had also been decided.