The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday directed commissioners and deputy commissioners of certain districts to promptly decide on applications of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) seeking permission for rallies, corner meetings, and processions.
Justice Ali Baqar Najafi was hearing a petition filed by the former ruling party following the announcement of the general election date by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
In the petition filed by Advocate Zubair Kasana, the court was urged to declare all adverse actions against him and his PTI colleagues void. The plea also sought a restraining order against respondents to prevent illegal actions and protect constitutional rights.
Respondents, including the chief and home secretaries, Punjab inspector general of police, and commissioners of Lahore and Gujranwala divisions, along with deputy commissioners of Lahore, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, and Sialkot, were named in the petition.
Emphasising the PTI’s lawful status, the petitioner argued for fundamental rights, including security, freedom of movement, assembly, association and speech without discrimination.
The petitioner denounced the authorities’ actions as “unwarranted, illegal, unethical, immoral and suppressive”.
Citing the “illegal” arrest of PTI workers after May 9, 2023, the petitioner contended human rights violations and pressure to abandon the party. The officials named as respondents in the petition were accused of implementing policies to obstruct the party’s political narrative for the upcoming general elections.
Despite applications from the PTI workers for permissions in various districts, the respondents had been reluctant to decide, resulting in illegal arrests, armed police raids on homes, and harassment of families.