PTI’s rally will go ahead ‘with or without permission’

Ex-CM believes caretaker setup mishandled the arrest warrant and turned it into a political battle

RAMEEZ KHAN March 20, 2023
A view of a PTI rally held in Lahore. PHOTO: EXPRESS


PTI recently tried to take out a rally in Lahore but was stopped by the caretaker government twice, however, this time around, the party is determined to proceed with its massive public gathering at the Greater Iqbal Park without or without the authorities’ permission.

Former Punjab governor Omer Sarfraz Cheema, while speaking to The Express Tribune, said that the party had applied for permission in compliance with the court’s orders, however, instead of giving them the permission, the authorities prepared a list of hundreds of workers to arrest.

He said that mass arrests were aimed at instilling fear in the hearts of the public to dent the party’s popularity. He added that they were not aware of any other official communication between their party and the district administration.

Musarrat Jamshed Cheema, another senior party leader, said that they had applied to the Deputy Commissioner’s Office only and would press on with their programme even if permission is denied.

The former ruling party tried to take out a rally twice in recent days, but on both occasions, Section 144 was enforced, placing a blanket ban on any kind of public gathering.

Later, this matter was sent to the Lahore High Court (LHC), which instructed the party to inform the district administration before holding a rally.

Advocate Azhar Siddiqui said that the permission of the district administration is not required in this instance. He said that this is a public rally and could proceed with or without permission. He added that seeking permission was a mere formality..

Former caretaker chief minister Hassan Askari Rizvi said that the matter would bring forth the partiality of the caretaker setup. He said that the caretaker government mishandled the arrest warrant and turned it into a political battle.

He further said that the role of the caretaker setup should be confined to holding free and fair elections and running the affairs of the province.


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