LAHORE - The Lahore High Court yesterday allowed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf to hold peaceful Raiwind march .

A full bench headed by acting chief justice Shahid Hameed Dar, Justice Muhammad Anwaarul Haq and Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan announced the reserved the verdict on petitions regarding PTI rally towards Raiwind.

The bench ordered the district government officials to provide foolproof security to the participants of the rally. The bench also ordered the Punjab government not to harass and arrest of the party workers.

In its verdict, the court also quoted a hadith related to the right of the road and observed that the party workers would bow before the holy saying and would not harm anyone on the road and would maintain the right of the road during the rally.

The bench also directed Waleed Iqbal, the party leader, to cooperate with the administration of the district government and other authorities. The court further asked the government authorities to keep an eye on any person who creates any disturbance or spread hatred among the participants. 

During the hearing, the court also addressed the petitioners’ counsel and observed that political fights should be fought at political grounds and the courts should be allowed to work.

Earlier, PTI had moved the petition praying that government be stopped from harassing party workers and the police be restrained from their possible arrest.

Atif Sattar, a local citizen, said that advocate A K Dogar had filed the petition against the rally which he said might cause clash among the activists of both political parties.

Advocate Ahmad Awais, the counsel for PTI leader Waleed Iqbal, contended that the PTI was making efforts to end struggle to end corruption in the country. He stated that Panama papers had revealed that PM’s family established offshore companies and made huge assets abroad.  He stated that PTI at every forum demanded investigation into the matter.

To make people aware about it, the PTI decided to take out a mass rally on September 30 at Adda Plot, Lahore. However, the PML-N activists and ministers were hurling threats to PTI activists. He stated the police was arresting PTI activists to flop the September 30th rally. Awais said peaceful protest was basic right of the PTI activists therefore no one can stop it from it. He requested the court to take action against government functionaries from intimidating the PTI activists and making their arrests without any law. He demanded action against PML-N ministers Abid Sher Ali and Zaeem Qadri.

At this, Justice Dar asked the PTI counsel to explain objections regarding security arrangements as what was lacking and what should be for the security of the people. The counsel replied that in their previous protest in Lahore, two patients died due to traffic blockade. The judge asked him  if he was ready to ensure that there would be no traffic jam due to their protest rally? On it, the counsel said that there would no traffic jam if there would be blockage on the roads. He said blockage always caused traffic problems.

The petitioner’s counsel said that Opposition, in the light of the Constitution, was bound to obey the state.  He said the opposition cannot try to topple the elected government of the people. He said Imran Khan was trying to topple the government and spreading hate among the people against the government. 

He said peace was fundamental element for the survival of a state but Mr. Khan had destroyed peace. He adopted aggressive way of politics and always used lower language in his speeches. He used indecent words while addressing people during his rallies.  Freedom of speech does not mean that one should use insulting words for other persons.

Additional Attorney General Naseer Bhutta told the bench that PTI can take out rally but in the legal parameters. Previously, the law officer quoted the long march of PTI in 2014, the party workers violated the courts’ verdict and entered into the building of Pakistan Television in Islamabad.

The law officer said that the party workers caused damage to the walls of the parliament and at last, the government requested the army. The party’s protests also damaged the country on diplomatic front as Chinese president also cancelled his visit to Pakistan.  During the hearing, DCO and CTO also appeared before the court on its short notice and informed the court about their strategies. They said 7000 police officials would provide security on the occasion.

The bench observed that it was the duty of the government to provide security to the protestors. He said Pakistan now was different than that of 9/11 before. The bench reserved its verdict for today.