Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) finally got a legal cover for its meeting on December 25 when Sindh High Court on Saturday disposed of a fresh constitutional petition filed by it challenging the position earlier taken by Sindh home department and Quaid-e-Azam Mazar Management Board that no permission was granted to PTI for the meeting.
Lawyer Shaiq Usmani, who appeared for PTI Sindh president Naeemul Haque, before Justice Maqbool Baqar prayed for an urgent hearing of the case as meeting is scheduled on Sunday. He maintained that the ministry of national heritage and integration had given permission via email on December 17 for the public meeting at the venue requested by the PTI.
Referring to a petition filed by 10 concerned citizens, the counsel for PTI said people with dubious backgrounds moved the court and the petition was disposed of without any adverse order against the PTI or holding of the said public meeting.
The respondents Sindh home department and the Mazar management board made a false statement when they told the bench that permission had been denied to the PTI, the petitioner submitted adding that after the initial permission PTI had already started arrangements for the meeting incurring “a big deal of money.”
The bench was also informed that on December 23, when workers of PTI reached the venue, they found the gates of the venue locked and upon enquiry, board officials told them that gates were closed on the orders of Sindh chief secretary. The organizers then approached the CS who told them that they have to seek permission from the prime minister for opening of venue gates, the petition maintained. The board was again approached the same day who allowed holding of the meeting as planned with a condition that sanctity of the mausoleum would be ensured by leaders and workers of PTI.
Acceding to the request of petitioner, the SHC bench summoned the respondents. The additional home secretary and board officials assured the bench that no interference would be caused and instead security would be provided for the PTI meeting. The bench, noting the assurance and satisfaction expressed by the counsel for PTI, disposed of the petition as not pressed.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2011.