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Khattak takes Punjab, Islamabad police to court for anti-PTI action

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and two of his cabinet members on Friday moved the Peshawar High Court challenging the use of force by the personnel of Punjab and Islamabad police against a PTI rally heading to Islamabad on Oct 31 this year to join a sit-in against the alleged corruption of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

A joint petition filed by the CM, health minister Shahram Khan and education minister Atif Khan sought the high court’s ruling to declare the actions of the respondents, including PM Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, against the PTI rally against the people’s free movement as enshrined in the Constitution.

They prayed the court to declare that use of force against rally participants (or them) a violation of their fundamental rights. The petitioners also sought orders declaring the police action ‘arbitrary, of no legal effect and wholly without jurisdiction’.

The respondents in the petition are PM Mian Nawaz Sharif, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, the federation of Pakistan through interior secretary, Punjab police chief Mushtaq Sukhera, Attock DCO Rana Akbar Hayat, Attock DPO Zahid Nawaz Marwat and NHA Peshawar director.
Prays PHC to declare Oct 31 use of force against those marching on Islamabad unlawful

The petition, filed through lawyer Babar Awan, said exercising the fundamental right of freedom to join peaceful assembly in federal Capital the petitioners had announced participation in the said protest along with cabinet of KP and other peaceful citizens from the province.

The petitioners state that respondents were duly informed in writing of the proposed public protest/ peaceful rally. However, the federal government without referring to any law issued a public statement on Oct 29 wherein it was declared unlawfully that petitioners would not be permitted to move around freely in Islamabad nor the chief minister would be allowed to keep the security as the Chief Minister of KP.

The petitioners claimed in furtherance of programme of a peaceful movement from Peshawar to Islamabad, the PTI established a camp at Swabi Interchange near the Motorway to provide assistance, advice and guidance to the people of KP coming in to join the protest.

They said on Oct 31 the chief minister along with Speaker of the assembly and provincial cabinet addressed a peaceful public rally in Swabi.

“After addressing the rally at Swabi the chief minister along with cabinet members and MPAs and people from all walks of life were on their way to Islamabad, when first at Aurangabad and then at Burhan Interchange the Punjab police on the orders of the federal and Punjab governments resorted to indiscriminate baton-charge and teargas shelling without any lawful cause and authority.”

The petitioners claimed the shelling and baton charge was so intense and brutal that not only the lives of chief minister and cabinet members along with MPAs were put at risk, but also people who wanted accountability of the federal government lives were gravely in danger.

They said a lot of people got injured severely and hundreds feel unconscious of this brutality where expired tear gas was used, while the vehicle of the chief minister was specifically targeted with intense shelling.

The petitioners said during the rally, hundreds of people were arrested and sent to prisons at long distances in order to humiliate their families.

They added that in order to rope in them, two baseless FIRs were registered at the Banni Gala and Bhara Kahu police stations of Islamabad.

The petitioners criticised KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in the petition saying an ‘unlawful governor’ issued unconstitutional statement on the same date threatening the people of the province with the imposition of the governor’s rule.

They insisted the governor was the agent of the federation, who was the in charge of Fata secretariat though he neither belonged to Fata nor had he even spent a single night in the region and that only service he rendered to the people was the threat of imposition of the governor’s rule in KP.

courtesy : dawn news

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