ISLAMABAD: The capital administration on Thursday issued a no-objection certificate to the PTI to organise a public gathering at Parade Ground subject to permission from the General Headquarters (GHQ) for using the venue.

According to the NOC issued from the office of the deputy commissioner Islamabad, the NOC is subject to permission/NOC by the staff duties directorate at the GHQ, Rawalpindi.

The NOC was issued in response to an application submitted by the party on June 27 seeking permission to hold a public gathering at Parade Ground.

A report from the SSP operations Islamabad was sought wherein the threat with respect to the security of the former prime minster and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and political gatherings in Islamabad was mentioned, it added.

The directions of Supreme Court of Pakistan in a constitutional petition were also perused wherein the SC had directed that a mechanism may be worked out with political parties regarding holding of rallies, it said, adding Islamabad High Court had also observed that political parties were expected to strictly comply with the regulations and restrictions prescribed to maintain public order. The imposition of reasonable restrictions in the context of regulating, exercising the right guaranteed under Article 16 of the Constitution is within the exclusive domain of the executive authorities.

In this regard, a letter was written to the president PTI Central Secretariat, Ali Nawaz Awan, on June 29 for giving an undertaking upon the required terms and conditions, the NOC said. He submitted the undertaking to follow the terms and conditions.

In view of these, the DC allowed the PTI to hold the gathering for one day only (July 2) at Parade Ground.

The gathering shall not disturb or disrupt the fundamental rights of citizens of Islamabad and adjoining areas.

The gathering shall not block Islamabad Expressway at any cost owing to any reason whatsoever since this is the main artery of the city and provides access to the airport and north-bound as well as west-bound motorways. The gathering shall end at 12 night (between July 2 and 3).

It will be organisers’ duty to ensure the dispersal after the close of the event. No object of lethal or non-lethal force, including batons of any size, would be wielded by any participant of the gathering nor shall any participant indulge in violence or clashes. In case of any such incidence of clashes/violence the organisers shall be held responsible.

This permission is for public gathering and not for a sit-in. The organisers are bound to ensure that the participants do not spend the night or subsequent nights there and are dispersed peacefully.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday summoned Deputy Commissioner (DC) Islamabad in a petition filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) against capital administration for allegedly using delaying tactics to grant them permission to hold a rally on July 2 at Parade Ground.

IHC Justice Aamer Farooq took up the petition filed by PTI’s Islamabad President Ali Nawaz Awan.

Awan contended in the petition that he approached the DC, Islamabad with the application to seek permission and necessary security arrangement for the gathering but the applicant has not received any reply from him (DC) as yet.

Published in Dawn, July 1st, 2022

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