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Pakistan SC Rejects Petition For Contempt Against Former Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan SC Rejects Petition For Contempt Against Former Prime Minister Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a petition filed by the government seeking contempt proceedings against former Prime Minister Imran Khan for “violating” the Supreme Court’s directive regarding the “Azadi March” of his party.
A five-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, rejected a petition filed by Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf on behalf of the government accusing Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supremo of violating the supreme court order to to hold a peaceful march on H-9 sector in the national capital.
The bench made up of Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Munib Akhtar, Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the petition saying the 69-year-old cricketer turned politician asked his supporters to go to the D-Chowk where protesters clashed with the police.
The D-Chowk in Islamabad is close to several important government buildings: the presidency, the prime minister’s office, the parliament and the supreme court.
On Wednesday, the highest court had ordered the ground between the G-9 and H-9 Sectors of the national capital to be cleared for a rally by Khan’s party.
The bank said Wednesday’s order of the highest court would remain in effect, asking the government and the PTI to sit together to finalize modalities for the peaceful and safe conduct of the long march of the United Nations. expelled party to Islamabad to push the government to announce new polls within the next six days.
Negotiations were not held as both sides claimed the other failed to show up at the Islamabad Chief Commissioner’s office at the agreed time.
The court said the reason for the denial of the request would be disclosed later as part of its written ruling.
Khan had entered Islamabad early Thursday morning and marched toward D-Chowk, while the federal government had deployed the military in the Red Zone to “protect key government buildings.”
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said Khan’s decision to hold the rally at the D-Chowk was a violation of the Supreme Court, which asked his party to host the rally at a site in the capital’s H-9 Sector adjacent to the Srinagar. highway.
Sanaullah said Khan had “misled” the highest court by asking for permission to hold the rally in a specific place in the capital (sector H-9), but later announced it would be held in D-Chowk.
Meanwhile, the chief justice ordered the government to do its job in view of Wednesday’s orders and said the highest court would rule on the case, setting an “example for the future”.
“Political conflicts are always damaging to the country,” Chief Justice Bandial noted. “The court will only intervene in any matter of a political nature if there is a valid reason,” the CJP added.
The former prime minister warned on Thursday that if the “imported government” fails to announce elections within six days, he would return to the capital with “the entire nation”.
At a rally of thousands of “Azadi March” protesters on Jinnah Avenue here on Thursday morning, Khan lashed out at the government for using “tactics” such as raids and arrests to stop his party’s march even as he confronted the Supreme Court. thanks for taking note of the matter.
Khan, who was removed from power by a vote of no confidence last month, claimed the no-confidence vote against him was the result of a “foreign conspiracy” as his independent foreign policy and funds were funneled from abroad to remove him from power. .
He has named the US as the country behind the conspiracy, a charge that Washington has denied.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s coalition government initially allowed the protest but declined to authorize Tuesday, fearing violence and lawlessness in the aftermath of the march.
On Wednesday, police fired tear gas and chased Khan’s supporters who were throwing rocks near Lahore, the capital of Punjab, injuring several people from sides.
Clashes between the police and Khan’s supporters were also reported in several places.
The government had imposed Section 144 to ban large gatherings in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, its twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad, and Karachi, as well as other major cities.
Hundreds of Khan’s supporters, however, reached D-Chowk where the police used tear gas to disperse them, but without any success. The angry workers retaliated by setting fire to several trees and shrubs along Jinnah Avenue leading to the D-Chowk.

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