PTI denied permission to stage rally at Liberty, LHC says

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LAHORE: PTI denied permission to stage rally at Liberty, LHC says. According to the Lahore High Court (LHC), if the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is not allowed to hold a rally at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk, then no other party will be allowed to do the same, the court ruled on Friday.

PTI Lahore President Azeemullah Khan said the remarks came while Punjab’s top court was hearing the party’s petition – filed by the party’s leader in Lahore, Azeemullah Khan – seeking permission to hold a rally at Liberty Chowk on October 15 in support of the party.

In the course of Friday’s proceedings, the authorities presented a notification issued by the deputy commissioner of the provincial capital, which stated that a rally by the PTI would not be permitted at Liberty Chowk in the provincial capital.

It was claimed in the notification that the permission could not be granted as the events of May 9 – the day when PTI workers ransacked state installations – had also taken place there.

A law officer had also pointed out that the petitioner’s request had been declined because “security threats were posed at the proposed venue” as a reason for denying the petitioner’s request.

At this point, Justice Raheel Kamran stated that if the authorities are not allowing the PTI to arrange a rally at the same venue, then they should not allow any other political party to hold a gathering at that site as well.

A law officer told the petitioner that if he approached the deputy commissioner for permission to hold a rally at another venue, then the request of the petitioner would be considered.

It was further assured to the petitioner by the law officer that if any such application were filed by the petitioner, the same would be considered and decided within 72 hours of it being filed.

At this point, the petitioner’s counsel requested the court to dispose of the petition based on the statement that was made by the law officer at this stage in the proceedings.

As a result of the statement by the law officer, the court disposed of the petition, and directed the petitioner to submit an application to the deputy commissioner’s office proposing a different location in light of the statement by the law officer.

In response to the petitioner’s request, he had stated that the party intended to hold a public rally at Liberty Chowk to announce the party’s manifesto in view of the general election taking place in the near future.

The deputy commissioner of police had been notified that a request had been made to hold a public meeting at Liberty roundabout for this purpose, but the request had been denied.

In a court filing, he pleaded with the court to allow the PTI to hold the rally on the grounds that it was the party’s legal right to do so.

A similar development comes at a time when political parties are preparing for the upcoming general elections, which are scheduled to take place in January next year.

In addition, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is also planning to hold a gathering at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on October 21, just days before the party’s supremo, Nawaz Sharif, returns to the country after four years in self-exile.

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