ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) protesters to clear the Constitution Avenue which also includes a road in front of the apex court and the Parliament by Thursday (tomorrow).
A five-judge larger bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk, was hearing a set of identical petitions filed by bar associations across the country against the PAT and PTI's sit-ins on Islamabad's Constitution Avenue.
According to petitioners, protesters were breaching the rights of the common citizen, as enshrined in Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution, which ensure freedom of movement and right of assembly.
During the hearing, Attorney General Salman Butt presented a report in the court which said that PAT protesters were not ready to clear the roads.
However, PAT's counsel Ali Zafar said protesters had cleared one side of Constitution Avenue and that there were no obstacles on that side anymore.
After making several observations, the court ordered PAT and PTI protesters to clear the way in front of the Parliament by Thursday.
The bench also ordered that lawyers representing the two parties should review the situation and submit a final report to the court in this regard.
The hearing of the case was subsequently adjourned until tomorrow.
Protesters from both parties, camped out in the federal capital's Red Zone for over a week, have been carrying out a protest sit-in against the government and alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections. Both sides have refused to leave before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation.
The protesters have been sitting in front of the Parliament House and the Supreme Court building since August 19, making the road impassable for government employees.
SC committee visits PTI, PAT sit-ins
The members of the committee formed by the Supreme Court regarding clearance of the Constitution Avenue visited the place of sit-ins.
Later President Supreme Court Bar Association Kamran Murtaza told media that the committee will present its report to the apex court.
He said it has been wrongly stated by PAT before the court that one side of the constitution avenue is open for traffic.
He said the Constitution Avenue is still closed for traffic and report in this regard will be submitted in the court.