Pak protest leaders assure court they will follow Constitution

Imran Khan and cleric Tahirul Qadri, who are leading two anti-government protests in Pakistan, today assured the Supreme Court that they will remain within the limits of the Constitution during their ongoing agitations.

PTI| Updated: Aug 22, 2014, 19:17 PM IST

Islamabad: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and cleric Tahirul Qadri, who are leading two anti-government protests in Pakistan, today assured the Supreme Court that they will remain within the limits of the Constitution during their ongoing agitations.

The two are staging separate sit-ins in front of the parliament to dislodge Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who has refused to quit.

A five-judge larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk, is hearing petition against their protest and had ordered them yesterday to file their response.

The lawyers of Khan`s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Qadri`s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) submitted their responses, assuring the court that the protesters will follow the law.

Dawn News reported that the PTI`s response stated that it was the constitutional right of the party to hold protests, adding that the measures the party had adopted were within the parameters of the Constitution.

It said Khan had never said anything about attacking the Parliament and that he believed in the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution.

It also said the PTI chairman did not support any extra-constitutional measures nor did he have any intentions of doing so.

Advocate Ali Zafar of PAT verbally assured the court that the party favoured the rule of law. "It is a peaceful demonstration, we are not blocking roads neither are we stopping anybody from entering the buildings and don`t intend to cause any damage to the buildings. It is the government that is blocking access by placing containers."
The bench asked him to file written reply by tomorrow and adjourned till August 25.

The two parties also urged the court to ask government for removal of road blockades but the court didn`t immediately issue any orders.