The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Saturday issued a written order granting permission to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to hold rallies and conduct their election campaign in accordance with the law of the land.
The court in its verdict asserted that no political party was denied its right to actively participate in the electoral process, Express News reported.
The PHC has also directed the caretaker provincial government to take necessary measures to ensure transparent elections, emphasising the importance of a level-playing field for all political parties.
The verdict holds particular importance in light of recent actions taken against the former ruling party, with allegations of authorities not providing level-playing field to PTI in the run-up to elections. The PTI in its narrative has accused the state of employing heavy-handed tactics, resulting in the arrest or detention of several of its leaders in various cases.
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The PTI’s petition to the court highlighted that they were being prevented from holding conventions, campaign for the upcoming elections, and even the media coverage of the party had been restricted. Despite multiple requests to the district administration, their applications for permission to hold conventions were repeatedly denied.
However, the PTI’s assertions were dismissed by the Advocate General for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), who objected the maintainability of the petition.
According to the written order, when the court inquired about the existence of a public or unannounced ban on PTI, the advocate general clarified that there was no such restriction on any party.
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He however referred to Section 14 of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Civil Administration Act 2020, which mandates obtaining permission from the administration for holding meetings and conventions.
According to the court’s findings, the PTI pledged to seek the permission of the relevant authority before launching its election campaign. In return, the advocate general assured that the district administration would fulfil its legal obligations in this regard.