IHC disposes of petitions against JUI-F’s planned ‘Azadi March’

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday has disposed of all the petitions filed against Azadi March of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

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During the hearing, the plaintiff advocate Hanif Rahi said that JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had announced to hold rally against the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in October.

Chief Justice Athar Minullah remarked no court in the world can abolish the right of a demonstration over which, the claimant said that there is a right to protest against policy but not a democratic government.

Subsequently, the court dismissed both petitions against Azadi March.

Earlier, an application was also filed by advocate Hanif Rahi against the participation of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Azadi March. Interior secretary, JUI-F chief, PML-N, and Deputy Commissioner Islamabad were made parties in the plea.

The petition stated that PML-N leaders are facing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases and ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif had written a letter to PML-N senior leadership from Kot Lakhpat Jail which is synonymous to pressurise the anti-graft watchdog.

The application further added that Supreme Court and IHC had already given a verdict regarding holding of sit in on specific places.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman had decided to lead Azadi March from Sukkur on October 27.

The campaign will be started from Sindh as Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman can be arrested from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan due to PTI provincial governments which might affect the march at the beginning.

It was further learned the Sindh government will help Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman’s Azadi March by providing facilities and the protest will gain momentum by the time it enters Punjab.

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman said he does not want a prolonged 126-day protest like Prime Minister Imran Khan did.

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman said he will announce the next plan of action himself after reaching Islamabad. The protests will be staged nationwide if Azadi March is stopped, he stressed.

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