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If not PTI, then no one else will be permitted to stage rally at Lahore's Liberty Chowk: LHC


Sep 26, 2018
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  • LHC tells PTI to propose another venue for holding rally.
  • Court disposes of plea after PTI counsel withdraws it.
  • PTI wanted to hold rally to announce election manifesto.
LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ruled that if the former ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), is not allowed to stage a rally at Lahore's Liberty Chowk, then no other party will be allowed to do so as well.

Punjab's top court's remarks came as it was hearing the party's petition — submitted by PTI Lahore President Azeemullah Khan — seeking permission to hold a rally at Liberty Chowk on October 15.

During the proceedings on Friday, authorities presented a notification issued by the provincial capital's deputy commissioner, which stated that the PTI would not be permitted to hold a rally at Liberty Chowk.

The notification claimed that the permission could not be granted as the events of May 9 — the day when PTI workers ransacked state installations — began from the same place.

A law officer also pointed out that the petitioner's request had been declined in "view of the security threats posed at the proposed venue".

At this, Justice Raheel Kamran said that if the authorities are not allowing the PTI to stage a rally, then they should not permit any other political party to arrange a gathering at the same venue.

The law officer then said that the request of the petitioner would be considered if he approached the deputy commissioner for holding a rally at another venue.

The law officer further assured that if any such application was moved by the petitioner, the same shall be considered and decided within 72 hours.

At this stage, the petitioner's counsel requested the court to dispose of the petition in light of the statement by the law officer.

Subsequently, the court disposed of the petition, in the light of the statement by the law officer, and directed the petitioner to submit an application to the deputy commissioner's office, proposing another location.

The petitioner had submitted that the party wanted to hold a public rally at Liberty Chowk to announce its manifesto in view of the upcoming general election.

He submitted that an application had been filed with the deputy commissioner for permission to hold a public meeting at Liberty roundabout for the purpose but to no avail.

He pleaded with the court to allow the PTI to hold the rally as it was the party’s legal right.

The development comes as political parties gear up for the general elections, scheduled to take place in January next year.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is also set to hold a gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on October 21, when the party's supremo, Nawaz Sharif, arrives in the country after four years of self-exile.

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