Pakistan`s court stops Imran Khan, Qadri from holding protest march

A court here on Wednesday stopped Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tahreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri from holding protest march and sit-in in federal capital in "an unconstitutional way".

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 13, 2014, 22:28 PM IST

Lahore: A court here on Wednesday stopped Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tahreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri from holding protest march and sit-in in federal capital in "an unconstitutional way".

The Lahore High Court three-member full bench headed by Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan today issued a short order restraining both the parties from holding an `unconstitutional` protest march and sit-in in Islamabad.

The two parties "have been restrained from holding Azadi March and Inqilab March and sit-in in Islamabad in an unconstitutional way," the short order says.
Tehreek-i-Insaf representative advocate Ahmed Awais told reporters that the party was not going to hold an `unconstitutional` protest march.

"Our march is within the ambit of the constitution of Pakistan. Therefore, it on the respected judge to interpret about the unconstitutional protest march," he said.

After the court`s verdict, Imran Khan told a news channel that his party would hold the Azadi March come what may.

"Our march is constitutional. The government`s act to put containers to stop us from going to Islamabad is unconstitutional," Khan said.

The LHC also directed the PML-N government to remove containers from the roads of the Punjab province.

Some political circles had already expressed their concern on the judiciary`s `unnecessary` intervention to defuse the ongoing political crisis.

The LHC bench had directed the Nawaz-government to initiate dialogue with the protesting parties (anti-government cleric Dr Qadri and Imran Khan) to maintain stability in the country.

Justice Khalid Mahmood had remarked: "The government should initiate dialogue process with the protesting parties to maintain stability in the country. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should visit Imran Khan even 10 times for the stability in the country. Banigala, the residence of Imran Khan, is not so far from the PM House."

Supreme Court advocate and political analyst Fawad Chaudhry said that it was strange the judiciary had taken up this petition.

"This petition should have been dismissed at early stage but the LHC instead constituted a larger bench to hear it," he said, adding the court could not admit a political petition.

"How could the judiciary intervene in political matters," he expressed his wonder.

Both the Tehreek-i-Insaf and Awami Tahreek workers are ready to leave for Islamabad from across the country.