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Pakistan's SC summons Khan, Qadri over anti-govt protests

Source: PTI
August 20, 2014 20:37 IST
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Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned opposition leader Imran Khan and cleric Tahirul Qadri on a petition filed against them over their protests that have called for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's ouster.

The Supreme Court issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf  chairman Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Qadri to appear in court on Thursday for the hearing of the petition filed by the Lahore High Court's Multan Bar Association.

A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Nasirul Mulk admitted the petition and issued notices to the concerned parties while adjourning the hearing of the case until Thursday.

The petitioner has named Khan and Qadri as respondents and maintained the pleas that the apex court restrains them from illegal and unlawful trespassing of prohibited zones including Constitution Avenue, offices of foreign missions, Pakistan secretariat and secretariat offices.

The plea has also requested that they be legally banned from conducting any sort of march including dharna and civil disobedience by offending public peace and tranquillity in any manner whatsoever in all times to come, Dawn News reported.

The petition states that, "The federation of Pakistan, may be graciously directed to perform their functions in accordance with the mandatory provision of the Constitution in the face of unlawful and unconstitutional activities of movements of respondents PAT, PTI."

During the hearing, the court said that every citizen has the right to protest, as per the constitution as long as the protests did not cause any hardship to other citizens.

Supreme Court Bar Association President Kamran Khan told the court that high court bar associations from other provinces were filing similar petitions.

Khan and Canada-based firebrand cleric Qadri have been protesting for the last one week against alleged rigging in the 2013 elections, putting the PML-N-led government on the backfoot.

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