Looming marches: Hold dialogue with foes, LHC advises PM Nawaz

Court issues notices to Imran, Qadri and other political leaders


Rana Tanveer August 12, 2014

LAHORE:


A full bench of the Lahore High Court advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday to set aside his ego and hold negotiations with the political leaders who plan to hold anti-government marches in the capital.


The full bench comprising Justice Muhammad Khalid Mehmood Khan, Justice Shahid Hameed Dar and Justice Anwaarul Haq was hearing a petition seeking an injunction against the proposed long march.

During the proceedings, Justice Shahid Hameed Dar, remarked that the premier should hold talks with the agitating parties to quell the political storm in the country.

In a veiled warning to Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief, the judge said “if he (Tahirul Qadri) is not willing to hold talks then his residence must be vacated.”

The court also issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, Qadri, Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Parvaiz Elahi and Awami Muslim League (AML) president Sheikh Rashid for August 12 (today).

Subsequently, the bench directed the registrar’s office to issue notices to the respondents through news in print, as well as electronic media, to ensure their presence.

During Monday’s hearing, Justice Khan, who was heading the bench, asked Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Naseer Bhutta, that the government should have opted for negotiations before filing the petition seeking directions against the proposed march.

What has the government done so far to avoid confrontation other than raising barriers and enforcing Article 245 of the Constitution, the judge said while questioning Bhutta.

Towing a patriotic line, Justice Khalid said the government must set aside its ego and should take concrete steps to pull the nation out of the perpetual vortex as our existence is intertwined with the existence of the country.

He said the integrity of the country is at the stake and the government should refrain from pushing it into a state of anarchy only to feed its ego.

Advancing his arguments, Advocate Dogar, who was representing the petitioner, contended that the opposition was loyal and faithful to the country and the government should be directed to hold dialogue with them to avoid confrontation.

Shunning the petitioner’s counsel, Justice Khalid said that it was beyond the court’s jurisdiction to issue such directions.

During the course of hearing, Justice Khalid also remarked that every citizen had a right to protest against the government but no one should be allowed to brandish weapons.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2014. 

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